Water is Life: a Sailor’s Point of View.
I have been living on the water for 20 years. Literally ON the water, onboard a sailboat named Windsong. Being rocked to sleep every night by the many bays, streams and oceans we’ve slept on had us develop a deep and close relationship with water. As a liveaboard boater, I live in symbiosis with nature. As a yogini and teacher: water calls me to lose myself in its flow and explore all depths of life.
“Enlightenment is when a wave realizes it is the ocean.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
We are all born from the broken waters of our mothers. But women have a special relationship with water. They are its natural protector. We are tuned into this ever present element: embracing the world of emotions, knowing the benefits of flowing tears, flowing in our monthly cycles, creating life from our watery womb and sustaining it from our flowing breast. The more in touch we become with the water element in our lives, the more fruitful our lives will become. Like the river, we must allow ourselves to easily follow the flow of life, diverting where there is resistance, not in avoidance but with continued effort to gently carve away at the resistance, while flowing freely towards an open and welcomed path.
I wake up every day to the lapping sound of water and feel our boat gently float. Only a three quarter inch hull separates me from its embrace and I’ve just slept in its arms. When it storms; the rain resonates on the hull just a few feet over us, and showers us with freshwater. It creates this amazingly soothing sound inside the boat. Completely surrounded by water, Windsong follows the rhythm of the waves and you can hear the water splashing against the hull, its echoes a part of my reality. Water is a constant presence. It is a friend, a mother, a supporter, and sometimes an angry lover.
We could not survive without water. We often forget this as modern life has made it so easy for us to turn on a faucet and drink its bounty. But did you know that roughly 783 million people on earth do NOT have access to clean water?
It may appear to be a renewal resource because of sanitized tap water and the large purified bottle water industry, but how much is this really costing us? Think of the consequences of packing 14 billion gallons of bottled water per year: the energy consumed, the waste plastic by-products, the pollution it creates, and fossil fuel spent in the process. Never mind the fact that if we lined up the discarded plastic bottles Americans drink in a year we could circle the globe 190 times! Yet, we barely recycle 20%.
Currently there are thousands of people joining the tribes of Native American in North Dakota to make a stand to protect the Missouri river from having an oil pipeline run underneath it. The irony is that big oil corporations are there to make a profit; and if they accidentally pollute the river water – 1.3 millions of gallons are spilled accidentally each year in the US – and in the process take away clean water for millions of people, then the bottle water industry can step in and profit from it… and in the process buy more fossil fuel to manufacture, produce and deliver their pricey water.
What would happen if tomorrow local water plants shut down, or water somehow gets tainted? What would you do if you could only rely on natural sources of water? Would you want to protect it then?
The earth is our Mother and water are her veins. She sustains all life on earth and must always remain in balance.
To think that we are separate from nature and do not need her to thrive is the worse assumption we can make. To abuse her, scorch her, tear away her resources, strip her bare, and poison her veins is not the answer for sustainable life on earth. She has been giving us signs for years that we are quickly approaching a tipping scale. Just when science is finally reaching the same conclusions tribal elders and mystics have been professing for centuries, there is an awakening happening in the world and people are starting to listen. Deep within our hearts we know what is right or wrong, and every cell in my body is telling me how important it is to protect our resources.
Never mind the fact that the human body is made up of approximately 65% water; and that if you take away water, death is insured in days. Not only is it essential to our survival, but our destinies are closely intertwined.
Famous researcher Masuru Emoto (1943- 2014) spent years in his laboratory, strenuously observing water from all different kinds of sources. His first observation was that under the microscope, water from pristine rivers and lakes had beautiful hexagonal crystal formations. Tap water on the other hand did not produce beautiful crystals, nor did water close to larger cities. Further tests showed that water could be transformed by sound, even thoughts. Putting any stress or negativity in close range to water reflected in the quality of the water crystals and created strange and ugly looking shapes. A great reminder to look closely at how we treat our bodies, mind, spirit, and what kind of environment we surround ourselves in. We are water beings and a reflection of our planet and what we allow and do onto her; we allow and do to ourselves.
The earth is made up of 71% water and unfortunately most of it has been affected to a degree by our careless use of her.
In our travels we have seen how water is affected by human inhabitants and pollution. The farther away we sail from populated area: the more pristine the water is. You may think that the Miami beaches are beautiful if this is the only waters you have ever seen, but navigate 50 miles West through the Bahamian islands and you will realize that the dark murkiness of our coastal waters is due to the alarming rate of pollution discharged every day in our waterways and shorelines. The first time we sailed the Bahamas, we were so scared of making headway because the water was so clear; we thought we were going to hit bottom in low water. We actually stopped and read our instruments and observed the pristine water. We could see every single starfish and every scurrying critters around us, just as if we were sailing our backyard’ swimming pool. The depth gage said we were in 10-12 feet of water, and Windsong drew only 4’5” feet, so we had plenty of water to navigate, but our eyes had never seen clear turquoise water before and we had a hard time believing our instruments. I sat for hours on the bow directing my husband around every reef, as we slowly made headway until this became our new reality.
This is what ocean waters should look like. This is what river and lake waters should look like. We have been living in a trusting comatose world where we let big corporations and government dictate what is good for us, and have become immune and numb to the truth about how destructive some companies are. Unfortunately, when profits trumps what is good for the people: money will always win in our society. That is until we make a stand and say: “Enough is enough”. Standing Rock is one of these moments.
As thousands gather on the river banks, chant, meditate and take action towards saving their water, I contemplate how fortunate I have been in my life to live on the water. To be bombarded daily by millions of beneficial ions, to see life being sustained by it, and to cherish every gallon we fill in our tanks once a week. I am reminded that just as a boat has no function and is just an empty shell without water: so are we. We need to learn the reverence the native people have for water, and remember to respect life giving treasures. We have forgotten. Ask the stream of life to guide you and bring sacredness back into your heart. Allow your heart to open and receive blessings, as well as offer gratitude for all the treasures the earth provides us, and watch your spirit uplift.
Take a lesson from the water: for it is soft and yet has the power to carve out mountains through continuous action. As does the power of prayer and peaceful meditation when joined together with movement. We have witnessed it this week, when the commUNITY of water protectors were successful in halting the Dakota pipeline. Together we are more powerful than anything. After all, aren’t we all made of water? One drop of water in the ocean may not think itself strong, but when each drop come together and act as an ocean, it can reclaim the world and bring it to its knees.
Would you want a bypass installed between your veins with a promise from the doctor that the poison it pumps will never leak, hurt or kill you? No.
I feel her deep within me and like a rolling wave she calls: Mother earth needs our help.
The battle in Standing Rock has been won but more work needs to be done. Stand for clean water everywhere. Get involved in your community, sign petitions, make donations, and continue to share the stories.
Remember your sacredness; remember where you came from.
Water is Life.
Carole D. Fontaine