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The Life Force of Water

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

Drinking straight from "The Well of Souls"; High Falls, NY

I cannot describe the simple joy that it brings me to drink fresh live water from the Earth. There’s nothing quite like it. It vibrates through your whole being, it quite literally feels alive. It is full of life force energy radiating through Mother Earth’s medicine.

I remember reading a passage from Stephen Harrod Buhner’s book The Lost Language of Plants a few years ago about his first taste of water straight from a river and thinking to myself that I wish I could live that way. His words planted a seed of awareness in me that it took me until now to fully understand.

He describes the beauty of his first sip of wild water from his great-grandfather’s hands with such simple language that it captures what an innate human experience it is to drink from the Earth: “I remember the translucency of that water, the tiny particles of dirt floating in its depths, and below it all his life written in the palm of his hand. The water was sweet and cooling; my body liked it”.

I remember reading this and feeling the water in my own two hands, feeling it’s coolness run through my body, feeding that very basic human urge to be able to dip our hands into wild, running water and sip it. Nonetheless, it took me years of understanding before I trusted myself and the Earth enough to be able to this very thing: before I returned to the wild waters.

Throughout generations of colonization, many of our ancestors became distanced from the Earth’s medicine; convinced that the many resources that heal us could kill us or make us sick if not “purified” or “managed”. In reality, these exact resources have just been commodified and commercialized, our health and medicine being taken from our own two hands, and in the process the knowledge of our ancestors was replaced with fear and doubt.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of ‘deprograming’ our minds. For me, this has means questioning all of the old stories I hold inside me; everything from womanhood to bodies to relationships to water. When we question the stories we hold, we get to determine what is ours and what stories have been told about us/being human that don’t fit within the framework of the life we choose to lead. I’ve been asking myself the following questions:

  • where was this told or taught to me?

  • what is the intention or energy behind this: connectedness and empowerment, or disconnection and discouragement?

  • is this my belief or someone else’s?

  • where do I feel my truth inside my body?

  • what do I want/ need to feed my soul and feel aligned within myself?

  • does this add to the deepening and expansion of the life I want to live or drive me further from it?

  • where do I source the wisdom and knowledge for the way that I choose to live my life?

Water teaches us this. She carves her own path. She finds all the little nooks and crannies through which to flow to make room for its full expression. She cycles through the environment and becomes the source of life for everyone and everything around it. She knows that knowledge is accumulated gradually and flows outwardly over space and time. She is unashamed to take up space, and in fact, she knows that through taking up space, she offers medicine and meaning for others. She understands that sometimes danger and depth is a part of the texture of the world around us. That without ferocity and nourishment there can be no life. That life is, in fact, born of ferocity and nourishment.

It took me several years after first reading that excerpt from Stephen Harrod Buhner to trust that I can drink straight from the Earth. This wasn’t something that has been lost to time or humanity, or something that only belonged to our ancestors. To understand that so much fear around food, plant medicine, and water has been instilled to disempower us. That I am capable of choosing another life for myself, and am deserving of it. That each of us have the power to decide what is good for our own bodies; not Instagram, or meal plans, or grocery stores. That when we remove all the layers of conditioning and stories we’ve been told that drive disconnection are stripped away, we are left with ourselves, our own minds, our own two hands, two feet, one heart, and well of intuition inside us that can choose what feels right for ourselves.

When we choose it, we heal in real time. We heal the generations before us who were disconnected from the Earth. We heal and wayshow for each other. And most importantly, we heal our younger selves that ever doubted we could do this in the first place.

We choose to embrace the life force that is the teaching of the waters.

To read Stephen Harrod Buhner’s beautiful chapter called “The Taste of Wild Water” click here.

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