It’s a near moonless night, and the company I keep is not of this realm as I sit here. I am joined by many who have once walked and lived in this place as well as those who have joined them in a more recent time. Whether you believe in spirits or ghosts or just have an understanding that the Earth carries the memories of the time before doesn’t matter. This is where the past lives, and talks to the present if you choose to hear what needs to be said.
The sounds around me are those not found in the daylight, although they for the most part exist, lost in the brightness and activity that the daylight brings. The sound of the tiny flame in the bowl of the rock casting it’s heart shaped shadow has a sound, as well as the sound (and smell) of the sage and lavender that burn there. The water dances and splashes in the moonlight against the rocks to a song the River sings only for herself. There is a kind of peace that is not prevalent in the light of day, when the ‘others’ go back to their place of sleeping. There is the smell of the water that carries with it its own powers of evocation bringing to life those things that your soul remembers that your conscious mind has forgotten. Time stops, as do all the other human constructs, leaving you to face yourself head on. It is in this moment that the world slips away and you can find that thing that sent you racing to get to this place of safety, this sacred space, the place that has meaning like no other: Home.
Everyone experiences this differently, each person approaches the River differently and each of us find in it that thing that drives us like breathing, sends us running like a child to it’s mother, to get there. This one is mine. This is the power of a River and your experience is as individual as the leaves on the trees I cannot see, but can hear in the dark of a moonless night sitting here with only the others and my thoughts for company.
Among our kind, the ‘Water People’, I have heard my story repeated in variations for years, and in the telling I hear stories that are eerily familiar; they hold a common thread we are in essence running for the safety of our mother. When speaking of Water People there are many types, but our manifestation is a River, and while it may not be the same physical River in the same geographical location, still it’s the same need we are seeking to have met. We call the River “Her” with the reverence which one refers to the most significant woman we have ever known as human beings. We find in her embrace the safety, solace and love we find nowhere else. We can bring to her all our insecurities, fears, troubles and problems, and while she may not solve them all we still leave feeling that somehow she made them all better; kisses on our metaphysical boo-boos, all better now.
In that we seek her for our comfort we also find our Joy, whether by just being near her or in the challenges of the waves, roils and champagne that is her laughter. We celebrate our lives with her, we offer our sorrows to her and at the end of this life’s journey we give our physical remains to her as a gift. We drink her energy and transfer it to the world around us, and like our mother we often take her for granted, but when we need her, we need her now and she welcomes us always, never turning us away.
We also feel just as fiercely when it comes to her protection; we feel pain when she is wounded, righteous indignation when she is disrespected, protective when she is threatened. In these feelings is the reality of what our souls know but our minds don’t always recognize. She is the source of all we are. Her water is our life force. She is sacred because we cannot live without her, we seek her because we know without her we also would cease. Here is where our duty begins to keep her safe from those who would see her caged, polluted, destroyed for money. Here is where our duty lies, because we know our very lives depend on her health and safety.
The next time you run to her, whether it’s a bright summer day to play in her waters, or in the dead of night to find the comfort of her healing, stop, place your hand gently to touch her and know you are indeed touching the most sacred thing on earth, you are indeed touching the true source of life. Those feelings you have that you may not have words for, is your soul talking to her, don’t worry even if you don’t understand what is being said, she does. Just like your mother, you don’t need words to tell her how important she is to you, she knows. What is important is that you know how important you are to her.
Whatever sends you to her may your journey be blessed and may you always find your way to this River of Life, This Sacred Space, this place we call “Home.”