Women's Earth Alliance members from all over this continent and the islands from Micronesia, Guam from Alaska to San Salvador participated in an assignment to gather water samples of our water and describe our watershed, her original keepers and what is the work we are doing for it.
I had already walked down below the edge of the prairie where my house sits, lined up all those years ago, not with the sun, but with the creek below to visit, or as I say to "Go to Water." But the next morning had me off to Tar Creek to collect a sample in a mason jar, not unlike the ones John Micka collected over 40 years ago to demonstrate how trapped water can demonstrate how the metals separate out of the water when it is collected and allowed to sit for a period of time. John had taught chemistry at NEO College and with his demonstration project simply used 2 salad dressing bottles filled with Tar Creek water and in one he added simple fireplace ash. He wanted to have an easy way to demonstrate how something as simple as ash could help settle out the heavy metals found in Tar Creek's water. He had them captured together and when you picked them up and shook them water that had looked clear in the jars would cloud with the sediment that had gathered at the bottom. It was a simple yet now time tested project that keeps allowing the generations of students later to consider some simple questions. Do you know what is in your water? And is there anything you can do about it?
Twenty-six women Zoomed together, those who woke to red skies and ash, pulled together while one appeared though sick, another while on call for her elderly parent, we sat and listened, smiling at the samenesses we shared.
The topic: Water. Water makes up half the weight of every person on earth. Our waters, clean or damaged, abundant or scarce, pulled from the ground, caught water retained, sustaining us and those dwelling within it. We were asked who is doing the water protection for our watersheds and who were the original waterkeepers. WEA had begun each of the last 15 years of introductory programs by somehow introducing ourselves through our water. I envisioned how they could have while physically together, then been able to pour all of the waters and combine them, symbolically joining the team and the water as one. Traditions of all kinds are changed while we all gather in different ways together, don't they?
A friend of mine once told me that is how new traditions begin.
We actually took some time to breathe in and consciously breathe out. As they say, Centering, clearing the mind, focusing on the act of breathing, the motion and effort it is to live. “Every breath is a sacrament, an affirmation of our connection with all other living things, a renewal of our link with our ancestors and a contribution to generations yet to come. Our breath is a part of life’s breath, the ocean of air that envelopes the earth.” … David Suzuki
Air and water. But the thought on air that came was the fact learned that day that was known.
It is in the air, our President said months ago, acknowledging the corona virus is airborne and that is deadly.
It is airborne and deadly.
The facts were acknowledged, understood. We might not have mobilized as a nation then but now we act upon these words, we use protection, we create the barriers, we will live through this because we know it is in the air. Knowing will muster our teams together to combat what is in the air and lives will be saved. There can be on over. Another president summed it up simply:
For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet.
We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's futures. And we are all mortal. - John F. Kennedy
For fire to burn it must have air. For us to survive water we must have air. For the Corona virus to survive it must have a body of some sort and to get to it, it can travel by air.
Spend some time reflecting on and being with the people we know who with all their efforts are trying to breathe and all those health professionals who are extending every effort possible with every moment attending to those who will not survive without air.
I am proud to be the Tar Creekkeeper, but aren't we all our brother's keeper?
Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim