Nearly six years ago I drove home from the hospital with our newborn daughter. She was (and is) a precious passenger and it felt like a jarring risk to drive this tender bundle along the highways on that sub-zero day. I still glance into the backseat, feeling like I am transporting the essential sweetness of life. I feel both awe and a tremendous sense of responsibility. Have you had this feeling?

I reconnected with this awe and responsibility in a different way this past week when I participated in the St. Louis River Water Walk. I was a small part of a stream of people who took turns carrying water from the headwaters of the St. Louis River in the Iron Range down to where it meets Lake Superior. Led by Sharon Day of the Indigenous People’s Task Force, every step of the five-day walk was part of the ceremony.

When I carried the water, one small part of the river was truly in my care; a most precious charge, because water is life. Walking in this way was a meditation on how the whole river is in our care. I was asked to step up to the role of being a protector of life. I shed tears of awe, gratitude, and humility.

Don’t we all want to be vibrantly, joyfully alive? How are you going to step up and make this happen for yourself? How would you like to nurture and protect life in our community?

With awe, humility, and love,