Submitted by Dianne Monroe, Sebastopol, California: Lands Hurt by Drought
About 25 people, from children to elders, gathered at the Laguna de Santa Rosa, between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, California for a Ceremony for Lands Wounded by Drought, as response to California’s epic drought. People brought small jars of water from their wells, their faucets, from the last time it rained. Each person spoke their feelings about the lands and waters they love, and about the drought. As they spoke, they poured the water they brought into a large bowl, so that the bowl held all the water each person brought, all the words each person spoke, and all the feelings each person expressed. Some people offered their own poetry or sang songs they had personally composed. Then each person took some of the water from the bowl and we all spent some time wandering the beautiful Laguna, offering the water each of us carried (which held all of our words and feelings) as nourishment to some special place in the Laguna. The ceremony ended with the water that was left in the bowl being offered to a tree that had held and anchored the ceremony site. This ceremony was one of 4 Earth Exchanges offered for the drought in California (the others were in Lake Tahoe area, East Oakland and Santa Barbara. As the ceremony closed, one person noted that the power and intention of the words and the people gathered there seemed to create an enchanted space, and that even the birds and trees seemed to be noticing and honoring our offerings.