A part of my daily practice, believe it or not, is my drive to and from work. I have a choice of routes, but I always drive along the fey-populated Spout Run and the beautiful river into which it feeds, the Potomac. Batty old woman that I am, I find myself in deep relationship with the water, the rocks, the honeysuckle that's thriving just now, the runners and early-morning kayakers on the Potomac, the expanding colony of purple thistles just as you exit onto the T.R. Bridge, the homeless vet I chat with there most mornings, the dead trees just at the edge of the island facing the Kennedy Center. It's a good thing that traffic moves at a crawl.
As I was driving beside the Potomac this morning, NPR was reporting on the flooding that's been happening alongside the Mississippi River and its tributaries. "Mississippi" comes from a Native American word that meant, "Father of Waters," and it was aptly named.
I simply can't imagine how much water it would take to do what the news reports describe, nor how it would be to live -- as a human, a tree, a bird with a nest in that tree, a snake, a fox, or a rose bush -- within that flood plain. One thing that rivers do, that rivers need to do, is to flood.
And so my sympathies are with the Mississippi and with the Element that I call every day when I cast a circle, every time that I need something to dissolve, every time that I need things to flow along. And, as well, my sympathies are with the humans, and the trees, and the birds, and the snakes, and the foxes, and the roses.
Because they are all the same thing; they are all, to paraphrase HC, Goddess pouring Goddess into Goddess. And, yet, they are each separate and precious, and the desire of the human not to lose her home, and the desire of the fox kit not to lose her den, and the desire of the tree not to be swept away, are every bit as strong and as valid as the desire of the Mississippi to occasionally overflow His banks in a big way.
And so, tonight, I will sit at my altar, here in the district devoted to the Goddess Columbia, here beside Spout Run, here in the Potomac Watershed, and I will light incense for the Father of Waters and for all who live in His floodplain. I will send energy to strengthen the Web of All. I will listen to the words of Derrick Jensen, and I will be more grateful than I can express for having incarnated upon this watery, dangerous planet.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."