Sunday 22nd March 2020
Mothers and Waters
You know I told you on Wednesday that I was rescued by a shepherd? Well in a strange and lovely coincidence, I met his wife today. He had told me that he had a three legged deer, and today I saw one in a paddock and thought, ‘Now how many three legged deer can there be in the Derbyshire Peaks?’ His wife was cleaning a gypsy caravan that they use for airbnb, and bade me a cheery hello. I said, “I met your husband on Wednesday!” And we passed some time together while I stroked ‘Lucky’ the deer. Fay and Kevin are country people with generous, uncomplicated hearts. It was such a delight to meet them both in this coincidental way, and I wonder what the universe is telling me. (Live a simpler life perhaps?) I can imagine the laughter they will have this evening about some posh but dozy tourist with no common sense, ‘wandering abaat on t’ moor in t’ dahk, wi’out any idea where she were!’
Last night I painted a stone to put in the river Dove, because I wanted to thank my other Mother for hosting my soul on this earth, and I began thinking about how watery this planet is. About 70% of the surface of the earth is water, most of it is in the oceans but it is also in rivers, lakes, glaciers, aquifers and the soil. Our bodies are about 50% water, but what really excites me is the thought that the water present on the earth today, is the same water that flowed through the dinosaurs and through our ancestors. There is no new water. Maybe it doesn’t catch your imagination but it fascinates me, and when I got back to the cottage I fell asleep and dreamed that I was being gently borne down a river. Following the dream, my friend Cyndie Portlock who is in Borneo, posted a video on Extinction Rewilding inviting us to release our troubles and she would take them to the water, flowing in a waterfall behind her.
Everyone loves water, its abundant, life giving, immersive peace and its ability to soothe a manic mind. Of course we begin our lives in water, in our mother’s womb and the story goes, that I didn’t want to come out, so in an attempt to summon me into the world, my Mum went swimming every day in the sea in Naples. Presumably, once I realised there was water on the outside as well as the inside I decided to make an appearance.
It is a tragedy that our insatiable apetite for oil and gas has produced the fracking industry, a process that fractures rock by pressurised liquid, mostly water. Billions of tons of water are then lost to us forever and we are using up one of our most precious non-renewable resources. I applaud all the brave and dear people who have campaigned and protested against this destructive industry, and have given a voice to the water that cannot speak for itself. Thank you. Thanks also to our Mothers and our Grandmothers, and all our ancestors. We are the strong children of survivors who overcame ice ages, long migrations, battles with beasts and famines, and they endured. We will do the same.
An excerpt from “All the true vows” by David Whyte
“By the lake, in the wood, in the shadows, you can whisper that truth to the quiet reflectionyou see in the water.
Whatever you hear from the water, remember, it wants you to carry the sound of its truth on you lips.
Remember, in this place no-one can hear you, and out of the silence you can make a promise it will kill you to break.”