• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Water always finds a way, finds its way to us, and so we must find our way back to it

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In Council Watch
Mar 2nd, 2018
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Water Keepers at Springwater flow

Water Keepers gather at the flow by Highway 27, north of Elmvale

By Melanie Robitaille Friends of the Waverley Uplands

Somewhere between the whir of passing cars and the gushing of one of the purest flowing aquifers in the world is where I stood, surrounded by new faces, but everyone I now call friend.

Like most, I live a busy life, but I love to volunteer, and handling social media is how I came to be involved with this passionate and protective Friends of the Waverley Uplands. Albeit it’s a hands-off job, so to come face-to-face with, shake hands with, and hug members of this dedicated community Facebook group that I help manage was food for the soul.

Our vigilant assemblage collected in prayer at the Elmvale Spring House along Highway 27, cups of fresh, sacred water and offerings in hand. The water nourished us, as we nourished it. Through chakras and breath, westerly prayer and silent reverence, we charged the water in our cups and bottles, held at our hearts, with positive purpose. I felt an incredible warmth at my core where body and water met. It was an extraordinary connection, unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.

Join the Anishinabe Kwewag prayer vigil in Wyebridge on Monday March 5!

As each of the group took turns pouring our intention-filled offerings back into the flow, painful reminders of the continual mistreatment of this precious resource littered the bank of the overflow creek just beyond the spring house. Together, we pulled plastic bottle, after bottle cap and wrapper out of the stream, until the water could flow freely again.

In that moment I was reminded of the water’s tenacity; it’s resourcefulness. The water always finds a way, finds its way to us, and so we must find our way back to it. We must find our way back to the earth; back to a place of respect and harmony, where we take care instead of take advantage.

The Saturday morning vigil gathered like-minded citizens from nearby townships, and others drove for hours to attend. Some passersby showed their solidarity with a honk, a wave or a drive-by cheer. And together we shared stories of how the water brings us together and provides healing to our lives. Because there is a reason why our bodies are made almost entirely of water, why we need air to breathe, the warmth of the sun and the fruits of the earth. We aren’t just designed by nature, we are a part of it.

Eventually, our inspired conversations gave way to hugs and goodbyes, as our rejuvenated group went its separate way and about our individual days. But I believe in and personally witnessed, in the warmth I felt in my chest, the power and connection we have with the water. We know the task is not an easy one, but water is life, and we must continue to protect it.

This aquifer provides thousands of residents from the Oak Ridges Moraine to Tiny Township with gold standard drinking water, and it lies on treaty lands of the Beausoleil First Nations. It’s scientifically proven to be purer than the polar ice caps, and its being threatened by urban planning, pollution and now the need for aggregate resources. Help us tell all levels of government and their ministries NO, we won’t allow the purest source of water recorded in the world to be sucked dry for washing gravel, and that aboriginal First Nations should have the right to be pre-informed and consenting on any development on treaty lands.

Visit thewaterkeepers.ca or the Facebook group The Friends of the Waverley Uplands for more information and how you can get involved.

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