Over the summer months I have been staying with Liz, a friend of mine in Kitchener. I am enjoying having a place to settle in for a few months even though I am still “on the move:” traveling to different cities around me touring with my book. At least I know where I am sleeping each night.

“I can manage one day in my busy schedule to help carry a bucket of water,” I thought wanting to help Liz with a project she was working on.

Liz was project managing the All Nations Water Walk working alongside Mary Ann Caibaiosai, the vision holder. The Water Walk is an inspired initiative of Josephine Mandamin, an Anishinaabe grandmother and indigenous elder, who—did the only thing she could think to do to help bring awareness to the devastating polluting of the waters—in 2003 she took up the eagle staff and a copper pail with water and began walking the great lakes and praying for the water. 

Fifteen years on, Josephine’s water walks have continued and on September 15th 2018 Mary Ann Caibaiosai picked up the eagle staff and copper pail to walk the Grand River.

My one day helping to carry a bucket turned into five days! As I cleared my diary to do as much of the water walk as I could. An inspired team of core walkers walked with Mary Ann until September 29th. I joined them for five of those days. We met at 4am each morning to start the walk.

2:00 am my alarm went off that first morning. “I only just closed my eyes,” I thought as I jumped out of bed. I had 45 minutes to get ready and be on the road. The starting point that morning was an hour’s drive away and I wanted to arrive early to get smudged. Liz had already left to get coffee for everyone.

“You’ve arrived at your destination,” my GPS said. I slowed down along the country road. No traffic lights. No street lights. The sky was black. It was 3:50 am. In the distance I could see headlights and then the flashing indicators. “That’s where they are,” I thought. The cars were part of the walk. Each pair of walkers—one carrying the pail of water and the other the eagle staff—walked approximately ¼ or a kilometre until they reached the car in front with flashing indicator lights. They then passed on the pail and the staff to the next pair of walkers who were waiting by the car. All our cars were left with the keys in the ignition ready for the two walkers who had just passed on the pail and staff to drive to the top of the line of cars and put on their flashing indicators and wait for their turn again.

Meanwhile, the new set of walkers walked along the road to the next car with flashing lights where there were two more walkers waiting to receive the pail and the staff. It was in this fashion that we worked as a team leap frogging. This is Leah, one of my fellow walkers.

As I walked that first day, holding the copper pail of precious water, the reality of what I was doing began to sink into me. I know about the research on water that proves our thoughts actually change the molecules of it (see the research done by Masaru Emoto), and I am aware of the research about how prayer can help the patient to heal quicker. There I was praying for the water and realising I was part of something much bigger than simply helping to carry a bucket.

Over 70% of our body is water. If our thoughts can influence the molecules of water, imagine what our thoughts can do to our body. And, given our body is mostly made up of water, imagine that we are intricately related with every other body of water. Water is our life.

Thinking about water pollution, I wonder if it affects us much more than we realise…

Pondering deeply and sending you love,

Leanne xo