“It is increasingly clear to me that the impact of Indigenous values and attitudes has shaped us more than we will ever comprehend.”
― Written in Stone, Peter Unwin
Water has memory, the Algonquin Grandmothers tell us. This is also the teaching from my study of homeopathy. Both the idea and the song resonated within, so some time ago, I added “The Water Song” to my morning spiritual practice. The song—a prayer of gratitude and blessing—is sung once in each of the four directions.
Near sunrise, I stand on the creek’s shore, focusing on the water, becoming aware of the trees and grasses that grow alongside the watercourse. Animals and birds replenish there. Humans, too, are dependent on water, consisting of 60 to 75% water. Like the Creative Source, water connects us, to each other and to all things.
Facing eastward, I sing and feel the energy of the words and melody travel the waters, down the Great Lakes to the mighty St. Lawrence. I imagine the people living there now as we, the song and I, sail by on a musical staff. People wave—shore people have always greeted water travellers with a friendly gesture—and we continue across the Atlantic Ocean, to the Baltic Sea, over Eurasia and the ancient kingdom of Galicia, home of my ancestors. The Vistula and San Rivers. The song carries me further east, around the world, and returns me to the spot on the shore.
I turn south. This time, to the people, the vegetation, the water marshes and bayous of the Mississippi, the Amazon River. Then the Antarctic Ocean, down and back up the other side of the world to return me to me again.
Westward, we follow the Fraser and McKenzie Rivers, with a special wave to the Nechako River and my grandchildren. Across the Pacific Ocean, swirling the Sea of Japan, home of my youngest son, until the energy returns me home once again.
Finally, northward. James Bay, Hudson Bay, Baffin Bay. Across the fjords of the Arctic Ocean. Russia, Kazakhstan. Down to the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean. Antarctica. Reversing direction, we move upward, to Turtle Island, to me standing alone by the creek.
As I sing “The Water Song,” feel the energy, travel the world, I am filled with thanks. I have learned that the gratitude you give is returned to you, full circle. What goes around, comes around. The energy you send out affects the water and the people around the world. You matter.
With each turning to a new direction, I chant the ancient sacred tones—Hey, Yah, Ho—that vibrate in my body, resonating with the rhythm of the earth.
The water can hear you, the Grandmothers tell us. Gaia hears you. Take a moment. Hear the song she sings you in return.
Photo credit: Skeena River, traditional Wet’swet’en land, near Moricetown, BC.