Water is making the headlines big time right now. Catastrophic storms. Severe droughts. Water is giving fearsome expression to the changes in our climate.

Climate can be such a vague notion. But water is tangible. Water is my way of staying focused in the complicated work of reversing climate change and the injustices entangled with it. If its good for the water its good for climate and justice.

Water also stirs my love. I don’t have a special piece of climate where I like to picnic the same way that I savor every sunset at Lake Hiawatha. We honor and care for what we love. If we truly love the water we will have to love each other because we are all the water.

What will you do for love?

This is my favorite question from Sharon Day, the leader of the Missouri River Water Walk. I recently joined them for a few days on their two month journey from the Missouri’s headwaters in Western Montana to St. Louis.

The entire journey is an Anishinaabe ceremony. As we carry the water from the headwaters we pray for the river that it might reach the confluence with the same clarity. We begin each day singing to the water a song that means “Water I love you, water I thank you, water I honor you.”

Beginning at sunrise the team of walkers carries the water in relay for about 11 hours, covering 30-40 miles a day. I joined the walkers as they happened to be traveling through the Bakken Oil Fields in North Dakota. Copper vessel of river water in one hand, I walked right next to fracking sites. We walked by large farms using fertilizers that will run into the river. We walked past missile silos.

It’s heartbreaking to see what’s happening to our water, earth and communities. Yet the immersion in this ceremony and in the community of walkers was an immersion in the healing grace of love. Ceremonies like these (praying for the water exists every tradition) create the spiritual foundation for changing our relationship to water and each other.

We will do it for the water

As the water walkers pass the water to each other we say ngah izitchigay nibi ohnjay which means, “I will do it for the water.” My last morning on the walk I learned a song created by Lee Taylor based on Sharon Day’s words. The words continue to sing in my head as inviting questions. What do they stir in you?

What will you do for love?
Love is the healing grace
Ngah izitchigay nibi ohnjay
We will do it for the water

With love,

Emily

 

Join a Community Water Meeting

Give your input into how our region might achieve the goal of a 25% water quality improvement by 2025. What should be our priorities and what will it take to get there? Healing Waters Qigong is hosting a listening session as part of Governor Dayton’s request for broad public conversation and input on the 25BY25 goals. Wednesday, October 4, 4:45-6:00 at the Lake Hiawatha Park Building. If possible, please RSVP on Facebook.

Heal by the water, through the water, and for the water every week with Healing Waters Qigong.

Learn simple healing movements and guided meditations to help bring your whole being into balance and activate your healing power for yourself and the world. Every week we bless the water for our own healing, healing the water, and to carry compassion out into the world. Newcomers welcome any week. Learn more.

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