When I was young, my grandfather walked with me to gather water from a spring. Every morning we would start the day by going down to this sacred spot to collect our water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning ourselves. He looked towards me and asked, "Grandson do you understand why we consider this place sacred and the water sacred?" I stared back at him, wanting to get the answer right, then replied, "Because we need water to live so that we can cook, eat, and drink." He smiled at me and said, "Yes grandson, that is all true but there is more to it than that."
"This water is sacred for those reasons and because it helps keep every living creature on this earth alive, but this is not what people see in this way anymore. I looked at him puzzled by his response. He sat down on a rock beside the spring and continued. This water still is thought of as being sacred and we are still mindful of its preciousness, because we have no control over it.
You see, everyday we have to walk a long way to this sacred spring and we see where it comes from, how much or how little is here. We see this water and all of its beauty and we pray and give thanks for it being here for us and blessing us. We still understand it as a living and spiritual being, and not something we have ownership or control over; we are at its spirits mercy. We not only understand its value, but we remember to be thankful for it. To not be wasteful with it, because we have to work for our water, we walk a long ways carrying it on our backs. Our journey here, everyday, it is our constant reminder of all this."
He then looked down with
tears in his eyes. "Soon all of this will be gone and the people will not have this appreciation for our water, that we have now." "This will be another loss of true freedom and living as human beings. One day, soon, you will see what I am speaking of. You have to pay for everything in this world now days grandson. You pay for food and you pay for medicine. You pay to die and you pay for things that do not even really exist in this world, aside from being a creation of human thinking. You will see it in your time. This is already happening in the North. People have taken control over the water. They are pumping it through houses so that all they have to do is turn a knob and the water flows out. They are wasteful with the water because they have forgotten how fast it can disappear and what a blessing it is to have. One day you will see it come to pass that the water will become polluted just as it has in some places here. With that you will see it being bottled up and sold to people for money. Soon they will even have a fee for charging people for the very air we breathe. I will never see this happen and I am thankful for that. Please remember to have reverence for all the water that you are blessed with grandson. Remember these trips to the spring and remember it is not ours to control, to buy, or sell. It is a keeper of our life not the other way around."
Then he broke down into tears.