Today I needed to nourish my soul. Today I need to stand at the alter of peace and letting go. So I packed up the babe and I headed to where I can do that best-the beach. I’ve always had a calling to the water. A Montana girl I spent my summers and spring (as soon as the ice melted) jumping into the cool crispness of mountain beauty. But my heart has always been drawn to the ocean. It is the place where I feel most at peace. The most settled-that all might be right in the world. When my soul is weary, I go to where He is mighty. And I have been blessed. I have always lived where the water is clear and pure. Where I have never had to go without. Where I was never afraid to jump in. But that is not the case everywhere.
When I was in Africa, a dear friend of mine and I went to a village constructed out in the middle of a lake. Ganvier was a work of brilliance, struck by an African chief in the height of the slave trade. The legend goes
that the spirit if a bird came to visit the chief and told him that he must protect his family and the village. To do so he should carve out canoes from the trees and take the supplies necessary to the middle of the lake, where he would build a new village. There they would farm for fish, not plants, and there they would be safe. And it was so. This village build 5 km out in the middle of the muddy water and West African territory was not touched by the hatred of one man towards another.
I learned of this story as I myself sat in a hollowed out tree trunk, paddling over the dark, coffee colored water, as Melissa and I traveled towards the village. All I could think of as we worked our way toward Ganvier was my high school Advanced Biology class. I know, it sounds a bit odd, but I had an AMAZING teacher. Mrs. DeKort taught me more that year than I learned in any other biology class, and her lessons on unclean water, specifically that found in third world countries, stuck. In my mind’s eye I saw all the parasites living in the sticky mud. I thought of the men and women, wading through the filthy water as they tended their plot of earthen water for food. And I wondered how they found anything to drink. Sensing my thoughts, our boatman asked about the water where I was from, and I described to him the glacial lakes I grew up with. He could not fathom the thought of such clean water. And my naive self could not fathom the water he grew up with.
Today as I walked along the beach, my heart saddened at the scattered debris of washed-up trash. But how fortunate I am. What I think of as polluted is nothing compared to the water so many in our world are left to contend with. But maybe we can do something about that. See, tomorrow is World Water Day and over at World Help they are trying to make a difference. It’s amazing how little it takes to give a person clean water, and it is so desperately needed. To learn more, check out this vimeo: World Water Day. And please, spread the word!
|Harvesting Their Fish|