There’s this picture that’s been going around the intertubez lately that I found really striking. It puts things into perspective for me.
Answer to that question for most Americans: Yes.
Prognosis for our situation? Not so much.
I venture to say that most folks within reach of this blog have adequate water resources to brush their teeth, take a shower, cook pasta, and yes, flush the toilet. We’ve most likely been brought up in this environment, so we don’t have that deep awareness that comes from lack. Those brought up in poverty have a different experience of money. Those brought up in drought have a different experience of water.
As Pagans, there’s a good chance we cultivate an awareness of our natural resources: the air we breathe, the earth that feeds us, the water that makes it all possible. We need an ongoing supply of all these things to keep us healthy and our systems functioning normally. We are dependent.
Water is our slippery kin. It lubricates the spaces between our bones, gives our joints the flexibility to keep us dancing. It is the conduit for the electricity of our brilliant brains. It’s in our most luxurious kiss and the juices of our sex. Water is not only necessary, but delectable, delicious, softening and strong. It is the great dissolver, and the flexibility of the unfolding leaf. It is beautiful to see; the darker the container, the greater mirror it becomes. In its clarity, it magnifies and invites us to an expanded view.
Take a minute now and go get ya a tall glass of that good stuff. Take a long drink. Ahhh…that’s better. And we’re back to the story:
Like so many of the systems of the Great Mother Earth, our beloved Water’s cycle is changing. In some places, Water comes in torrents, far too much for the ground to absorb, far too much to feed and nurture, plenty enough to drive us from our homes and destroy what we’ve built. In other places, Water is simply scarce. Humans, history, time, chance, have pulled too much of it from its underworld home and the heat and pressure of the Air keeps it from finding its way back. It is a sad tale. The conditions of the World right now are not supporting the cycle we became used to. In California, where I live, we are hurting.It’s never a bad time to become more attuned to the Elements and the Powers that surround us. In drought, we learn again how valuable Water is. We are awakened to her. It’s an opportunity to become reoriented toward that relationship.
Here are a few ideas of how we do that in my house:
- Keep a pot/pan/bucket (with a lid) in the bathroom and capture the water that runs while you are waiting for your shower to heat up
and use this to flush the toilet (or whatever! The water from the shower tap is the same as the water from the kitchen tap…it’s clean until you make it dirty!)
- And speaking of the toilet: only flush when necessary, but don’t clog it by letting too much paper build up while you’re waiting for something other than pee to be in it
- In the kitchen, you might run the water into your Brita or other filtering contraption til it’s hot
- Fill the sink for shaving and face washing instead of letting the water run
- Only turn the water on when you are actively using it; when rinsing your toothbrush, not while you’re brushing
- Water your plants in the early morning or late evening, when the heat of the day won’t lift it away from the earth
- Siphon the water from a bath out the window and onto outside plants (this only works if you use biodegradable soap and let the water cool first!)
- Never pour water down the drain unless all the other uses for it have been exhausted
In other words, think about Water. Remember your connection to Water. Speak a prayer to Water; tell her you love her.
When you bathe, close your eyes while Water slides over your flesh and feel yourself cleansed and refreshed. Be fully present when you take Water into you and feel the deep pleasure of slaked thirst. Give thanks.
More ideas for becoming conscious of our relationship with water can be found here: http://www.watersavingtips.org/tips.html