Water: Joy, Beauty and Gratitude…Blog Action Day 2010

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

As a gardener and advocate of sustainable gardening, I thought that writing about water for Blog Action Day would be a no brainer.

pink roses up close-wet-resized

Yet, each time I prepared to write about the importance of conserving water, my mind took me back to moments in my childhood; moments in which water played a pivotal role, leaving indelible memories and emotions of joy, love and beauty.

WATER: memories from my childhood.

Sights, smells, sounds

My siblings and I chasing and squirting each other with the hose; howling, shouting and laughing

On a burning hot summer day waiting impatiently for the baby pool to be filled up so that I could plop myself in

My father hosing down the car and with a soapy sponge, diligently removing grime and scratches

Drops of water free falling from the oscillating sprinkler, soaking our front lawn on summer nights as dusk settled in

One of my parents playing and cleaning me as I frolicked and sang in the tub

Hot summer afternoons at the community pool with  my brother and sister Dallas- 3 kids at pool

The beginning of summer at camp, diving into a freezing lake filled with sea weed; swimming to the dock and back in order to pass the deep end swimmer’s test.

Skipping stones on a still black lake

Walking through Watkins Glen, a maze of water and a force of nature, mesmerized by the sounds, sights and smells; knowing that I was touching divinity.

Watching and smelling torrential rain and hail sitting on the back the car in the garage

The ferocious lullaby of ocean waves

All of these scenes have had a significant emotional impact on me….one of beauty, sacredness and love.

Western civilization of the twenty first century overwhelmingly thinks of water as a product to be controlled and mastered in order to serve our needs. And yet, indigenous cultures revere water, understanding that it is the source of life. Prayers for water and Rain Dances historically were, and still are today, an integral part of certain cultures. These cultures intrinsically know that water  is a powerful force, a gift from God, not to be taken lightly.

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Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth;
without rain, there would be no life.
-  John Updike

We are water.

70% of our bodies is water. As newborns, our bodies are composed of 80% water. As we grow older, the percentage decreases. By the time we die, the % is below 50. Without enough water, we die.

For most of my life, I took water for granted. One would think that as a gardener I would automatically have a great appreciation for water. But that wasn’t the case. For several years, water was a commodity that was to be used whenever I wanted, to service my needs. In my early years of gardening, I was one of those homeowners who diligently watered my lawn throughout the dog days of summer.

I wasn’t thinking. I was mindless.  At some point, I don’t remember when, my relationship with water went through a major transformation.

Today I think about water each time I use or come into contact with it. When I wake up in the morning and step into the shower, feeling the force of water on my back…..boy, does it ever feel good….I experience a sense of gratitude.

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When I go rowing early in the morning or as dusk settles in, I am often stunned by the amount of pollution and things floating in the water (bottles, containers, papers, and God knows what else..). For a moment, I feel a flash of anger and frustration at others total disregard for this narrow, winding river. And yet, like a plant that is infested with insects, I remind myself that the water, regardless of the condition it is in, is inherently a magnificent, mysterious, life giving force, pure and generous. And I give thanks.

Masuro Emoto, a renowned author of several books on water, has done a series of studies on water over several years; he takes before and after pictures of frozen water crystals.  In his book ‘The Shape of Love’, Emoto shows how thoughts and feelings affect water’s physical reality. He has proven (although there is some controversy about the validity of his studies) that when an individual or groups produce different focused intentions through written and spoken words and music and then literally present it to the same water samples, the water appears to “change its expression”.  Whether or not you agree with Masaru Emoto’s  findings, his work is worth checking out.

So, the next time you’re washing off fresh fruits and vegetables in your kitchen,  pause, even for a few seconds, and give thanks to water, the source of life.

Fran Sorin
The 10th Anniversary Edition of Fran's classic book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, has recently been published. Updated with a new foreword by the renowned author, Larry Dossey, M.D., it has dozens of endorsements from renowned spiritual, gardening, and personal development authors and experts in their fields. A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology and One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, Fran is a renowned gardening expert, passionate gardener, deep ecologist, inspirational speaker, ordained interfaith minister, soul tending coach, and CBS Radio news contributor. See less Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Comments on this entry are closed.

healingmagichands October 15, 2010, 7:25 am

Ah, water. So important, so abused, so wasted. I have never taken water for granted. This was an attitude that began when I was 7 and we moved into a house that did not include a well or plumbing. All the water we used at home was carried by my older sister and me up the driveway from the spring at the bottom of the hill. We carried it in 3 gallon buckets, one in each hand; the drive was 1/4 of a mile long. That experience changed my attitude towards water forever. It was reinforced when I lived in Fairbanks in a well-less cabin and my husband and I carried our water in 5 gallon jerry cans from our places of employment. That is also how I watered our garden, by hauling water in 5 gallon cans from the stream just down the road.

If all the water you have available to you is what you have toted to the site yourself, your attitude changes. Radically.

Dear Healing Magic Hand,

You speak with great authority when it comes to conserving water. Sharing your history and how you lived with a minimal amount of water and what it took to even get some is a stark reminder of how we need to cherish and conserve it. Fran

Gail October 15, 2010, 7:33 am

Fran, I felt similar feelings when I started my own post. Water has been on my mind a lot. We’ve had a drought this summer, we recovered from a flood and in all this I’m trying to figure out how to garden and not be a water hog! There’s a steep learning curve for me and others in this country. We are so used to having enough water all the time. ~Gail

Dear Gail,

Talk about paradoxes….experiencing a drought and flood in a short period of time. The best I’ve been able to do when it comes to conserving water is to add alot of organic material, choose my plant material very carefully and mulch. Other than that, it”s just continually reminding yourself to restrain from using it unless really necessary. Fran

Dave Lucas October 15, 2010, 11:02 am

I’m a tomato gardener myself! People need to come together on this important issue! Here’s a link to my article about water. Thanks for helping us spread the word!

Thanks for reminding us about the water crisis throughout the world. Good stuff. Fran

Nancy Bond October 15, 2010, 11:16 am

A wonderful and thought-provoking post!
Thanks Nancy.

professorroush October 15, 2010, 11:27 am

Wow A very thoughtful and inspiring post. As a fellow Blog Day contributor, I’m now embarrassed and awed in the presence of your great piece. Nice going.

Thanks so much. But your story about how you’re gardening now and a bit of the history surrounding Flint Hill was very interesting. I am most surprised that you get 35″ of rain….and that 25″ comes in such a short period of time. How you garden is a good model for all of us! Fran

Jacqueline Schick October 15, 2010, 9:54 pm

We skated in the winter on 12 inches of ice. The Olympic were ours. Hockey, figure skating, sweeping and shoveling the ice to make it smooth. Leaves, black and frozen, sticks and roots visible through the clear ice to the bottom. How? Dad drained the NY swamp in the spring after we found the tadpoles turned to frogs, not a moment before. When the air began to smell like leaves, when the coolness became a fire in the backyard, when the game birds flocked north, only then did we damn the swamp, turn it into a pond, then black ice, did we shovel the snow for a smooth ice to skate

Jacqueline-
I answered your other comments Your descriptions are extremely visual…just by reading them, I can relate to your experiences. They are wonderful….Thank you. Fran

Jacqueline Schick October 15, 2010, 10:08 pm

this post left so many impressions of the winter when we went to school and showered, and the principal reportedly cam to on horseback (who knows) and mom boiled snow because con-ed burned out the lines…. but it was also the time that the mountain burned and my corporate dad was fire fighter, that winter snow became water… water became important.

Dear Jacqueline,

Isn’t it amazing how the memories just begin to flow through? I can imagine your Mom boiling snow and your dad as a fire fighter….and even back then, you had some awareness that water was extremely important. Thanks for sharing! Fran