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Each of us is a vessel carrying water.  

Today I encourage you to connect the water inside of you with the water that is everywhere in the world. Connection with the water in nature can help us better recognize all the connections, human to plant, plant to animal, animal to water, water to air, air to human, … that surround us every day, enriching our lives and making the world what it is. 

My own immersion into the woods of northern Minnesota four years ago was a leap of faith to step away from the man-made world of job, stuff, and busyness to a world where my physical inputs from the natural world are around me, every day, each time I choose to engage. Living in the woods has been a big life change that has nurtured a connection to Mother Earth, Ni Maamaa Aki (Ojibwemowin) that I could never have imagined. 

Each of us has a story we love to tell of some amazing natural experience we’ve had:

  • in our favorite pond or lake
  • along a nearby river or stream 
  • watching those birds that one day…

Today take a moment to…

Say good morning to a flower or bird or squirrel or tree or bug or… walk for a while in the sunshine… or the rain!

Give thanks for the falling leaves, witnessing to the cycles of life… or whatever your heart may call you to do!

Perhaps you will take time to sing Nibi a song.  Written by Doreen Day at the request of her grandson, Mashkoonce, this Nibi (Water) Song says:

Water, we love you. Ne-be Gee Zah- gay- e- goo

We thank you. Gee Me-gwetch -wayn ne- me – goo

We respect you. Gee Zah Wayn ne- me- goo

Nibi (Water) Song in English and Ojibwemowin

Beatrice Menase Kwe Jackson, Migizi Clan, tells us that Doreen and Mashkoonce give permission for everyone to share this song… sing it to the water every day.

We’ve watched the world transform in this time of global crises with climate change, pandemic, and social unrest. Our natural world offers a respite. While the Line 3 construction crews are seeming to prepare for an inevitable build in northern Minnesota ~ moving in large equipment and materials for working in wetlands, like timber matting ~ we know we can continue to stand up to protect these natural places from the destruction of an unnecessary tar sands pipeline. 

As we celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, we can take some time for peaceful, regenerative, reciprocal relationship with the planet.  We can contemplate our connections with all beings.  We can revitalize our understanding and regenerate our strength as we continue working for a better future, for the next seven generations.

Northern Minnesota is filled with gold this time of year.  Quaking Aspen glow with their seasonal glory of falling leaves and Tamarack stand regally in the bogs. We steward this land with the help of all the creatures big and small around us as the give and take of life bears abundance.

Photo by Heidi Nielson-Meade – Miigwech, my friends!

I am grateful to all of you who are joining for the Week of Action during the Relay for Our Water.  It has been an honor to share your stories as we’ve all moved together on the Relay for Our Water route, each adding a bit of love or time, support or encouragement, prayer or celebration.

Thank you… so much… for your commitment to protecting Nibi.

Miigwech [Thank you in Ojibwemowin]

Note: This piece, in a slightly modified format, was written as a part of the Week of Action for Relay for Our Water.