Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Water is Life

water day-1“Water is life.” George Mackenzie Tlicho, NW Territories, Canada.
Water is Sacred to Indigenous peoples around the world because they know nothing on Earth lives without water, and that includes the living Planet Earth. International Decade for action “Water for Life”.  “On 28 July 2010 Resolution 64/292, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights. In 2006, the Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted decision 2/104 “human rights and access to water”.  It’s that face of America that Catarina de Albuquerque witnessed at the end of her U.S. visit.. De Albuquerque, the UN independent expert on water and sanitation, visited the U.S. to examine human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation. What she found was not befitting of the world’s richest nation.” from UN documents.
‘The human right to water and sanitation entitles everyone to water and sanitation that is available, accessible, affordable, acceptable and safe without discrimination. But de Albuquerque found that people of color and Native Americans disproportionately suffer insufficient access to clean water and sanitation services. While less than one percent of non-native American households have no access to safe water and/or wastewater disposal, 13 percent of Native Americans lack access.” from UN documents.
Here are some important facts about water from Water. Org:
  1. 1 in 9 people in the world lack access to safe water.
  2. Women and children spend 140 million hours a day collecting water.
  3. 840,000 people die each year from a water related disease.
From our personal experience:
We saw the reality of these statistics when we traveled with a group of volunteers to a small village in the mountains of Guatemala to build a medical clinic and provide basic healthcare to the people living there.
Many of the children were malnourished from the scarcity of food, but the main contributor to low weight and poor health was the lack of access to clean water.   Drinking from the streams and ponds caused the children to ingest parasites which created great suffering.  Medication and education about boiling water decreased the problem over time for that village, but the challenge to create a sustainable clean water source is ongoing.
After that experience, we never thought of water in quite the same way.  We saw for ourselves how a beautiful, vibrant child’s potential could be destroyed by the lack of what some Native American people call “the sacred life blood.”  Conserving water and contributing to clean water projects around the world became part of our lives.
On World Water Day, we renew our commitment to support the right of all living things to clean, abundant water.   We know many of you already have the same commitment.  Here are a few more conservation ideas to consider.
  1. Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant or garden, or cleaning.
  2. Verify that your home is leak-free, because many homes have hidden water leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
  3. Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. If your faucet is dripping at the rate of one drop per second, you can expect to waste 2,700 gallons per year which will add to the cost of water and sewer utilities, or strain your septic system.
  4. Check for toilet tank leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear within 30 minutes. Check the toilet for worn out, corroded or bent parts. Most replacement parts are inexpensive, readily available and easily installed. (Flush as soon as test is done, since food coloring may stain tank.)
  5. Take shorter showers. Replace your showerhead with an ultra-low-flow version. Some units are available that allow you to cut off the flow without adjusting the water temperature knobs.
  6. Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other such waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
There are many ways for us to conserve water.  To learn more use the links below for some great tips:
First, we must acknowledge the sacredness of and the necessity for clean water for all life on our planet. Then we must learn to use this gift wisely and share it equally, respecting the rights of access to the source of all life.  “Water is Life” and we must take action now because “We are all part of the Earth.”
Love, Gene & Joyce
Image by Hamomilaki

Sunday, March 15, 2015

How will you find your place in the Universe?

Until we realize we are not separate from everything in the universe, we will continue to believe that we are alienated from nature. Edgar Mitchell, one of the few human beings to have walked on the moon's surface, describes his experience of viewing the earth from space in these words, " Gradually I was flooded with the ecstatic awareness that I was part of what I was observing. Every molecule in my body was birthed in a star hanging in space. I became aware that everything that exists is part of one intricately interconnected whole. "
Photo by NASA                                                                         
Indigenous people all over the world have long sought and found their place in the universe. The search for this understanding of how we are connected to the Source of Life is far under -estimated in modern times.

I spent many years searching for my own understanding of my place in the Universe.  One beautiful spring day in Kansas, I found myself sitting upon the earth watching the Thunder Beings forming over the ridge. As I continued to observe the gathering Cloud People, I had the sense that I was looking down upon myself from above.

In that moment of time, all things stopped.  It became clear to me that I was not separate from the creation, but I was connected with all of the creation. To truly understand myself, I knew I needed to understand my place in the Universe.

Feeling our connection, knowing who we are, helps us to find our purpose and live in harmony with all of our Relations.

We weave our personal vision together to form a common vision of good for ourselves and for the planet. Joining with all our relations, we can learn to walk peacefully upon Mother Earth, knowing that she provides for all living things. We are all part of the Earth.

Love, Gene and Joyce

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Gardening in the Web

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” Chief Seattle
As we begin to prepare the soil for our garden this week we are mindful that we are part of the earth. Bringing together the elements of mulch,water and seeds, we reflect on our parts in the process of life. We care for the soil as the soil cares for us. As we place each seed into the warm, rich, life filled earth we become more aware of our connection to the ever expanding web of life.

We live in a time of climate change challenges, lack of access to clean water for many, millions of tons of high level radioactive nuclear waste, and the existence of over 88,000 toxic chemicals introduced into our air, soil and water by humankind. We are not here only to be stewards of the earth, but to realize our oneness with the earth.The simple act of planting flowers and vegetables and trees becomes an expression of the sacredness of life. We realize that we are planting in the garden of life and we wonder about how deep and how far this journey will take us.

Love, Gene and Joyce