Water, A Sacred Gift of the Creator to All Life
By Chief Phil Lane, Jr.
In 1969, my Grandfather, Frank White Buffalo Man, Hunkpapa Lakota, shared with me a wonderful spiritual insight and understanding that relates to how we must learn to respect, honour, love, support, and understand each other as different nations, tribes, communities, peoples, religions, and cultures of the Human Family -- the spiritual qualities and power of water and how very, very important it was for the Human Family to respect and protect water. What my grandfather called, “a Sacred Gift of the Creator given to all life on Mother Earth!”
He said, “You know grandson, the Great Spirit has given all Members of the Human Family knowledge and wisdom. To every living thing, he has given something special. Some people receive their knowledge and understanding through books. In your life grandson, you too must read and study books, but remember to take with you on your journey only those things from the books you read that which brings more unity within yourself and others, that bring goodness and understanding and help us to serve one another in better ways.”
“The Great Spirit,” he continued, “also gave our Indigenous peoples and all other peoples who live close to Mother Earth, both wisdom and knowledge through dreams, visions, fasting, and prayer, and the ability to see the lessons the Creator has put in every part of creation. Look at those trees standing over there; the alder does not tell the pine tree to move over, the pine does not tell the fir tree to move over, each tree stands together in unity, their mouths pressed toward the same Mother Earth, refreshed by the same breeze, warmed by the same sun, with their arms upraised in prayer and thanksgiving, protecting one another. If we are to have peace and true freedom in the world,” he said, “we too must learn to live like those trees.’
“Look, grandson, at the beautiful teachings the Creator has put in this little stream. Feel the water and see how gently and lovingly it touches your hands. It travels through deserts, mountains, and many places, but it never turns its back on anyone or anything. Even though it gives life to all living things, it is very humble, for it always seeks the very lowest spot. But it has great faith, power, and patience for even if a mountain stands in its path, it keeps moving and moving until finally that mountain is washed away and is no more. These are spiritual gifts that the Creator has given each one of us and if we are to be happy within ourselves and with one another, and find true freedom, we too must develop these sacred gifts!’
“You know. as well, Grandson, from Sun Dancing, Fasting and the Sacred Sweat Lodge, that water is also a very; very strong and powerful medicine that everything om Mother Earth depends on for life! In your life you must do everything possible to respect and protect our sacred water!’
“Your heart will be very saddened in the future if the Human Family does not learn to respect and protect the sacred water given to us as a Special Gift from the Creator. Many will suffer and die, especially children and elders, if all our relatives do not stand up and respect and protect this Sacred Gift of our Beloved Creator to all Life on Mother Earth!” he insightfully concluded.”
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This article appears in: 2015 Catalyst, Issue 6: Honoring Water Through World Water Day