Today we will measure the water; a 1/2 cup for Auntie Lila’s stuffing, 2 quarts to boil the macaroni and 6 cups for Grandma’s lemonade. If Thanksgiving had an official sponsor it would be water. This is true every day but especially holds on days like today where we gather to feast with family and friends.
But when it comes around to you and your little cousin Cam just said she’s thankful for her mom and dad, will you say you’re thankful for water? Will anyone?
This holiday is a bit fraught. Particularly this year it feels down right violent to pile a plate high in commemoration of a meal that never really happened as Indigenous folks and their allies are being attacked by water hoses and flash grenades as they deliver bottled water to folks standing in water they have vowed to protect. The very same water we boil our greens in.
Water protection has to be one of the most divine acts. As 71% of this planet and 50-65% of human bodies are water, when we guard it we are protecting ourselves, our food, our pets, our families and our Earth. It all flows together. It always has.
We must protect the water like our lives depend on it, because they do. And there is so much water to protect. Protect our lakes and rivers from coal ash. Protect Flint, Michigan, which has had contaminated water for 31 months and counting. Protect the water out west as Nestle bottled up water in the middle of a years-long drought. Protect the water that shouldn’t be streaming down the Black faces of the families and friends of #FrankClark AKA Scooter Bug, who was killed by Durham police on Tuesday, #IndiaBeaty, killed by Norfolk police in March as she attempted to break up a fight, and 15-year-old #JamesMeans, who was murdered 3 days ago for bumping into a white man. Protect the water that is home to so many refugees as they drift away from war and death in the hopes of finding lands of peace and rest. And protect the water protectors, who are putting their water-filled bodies on the line because they believe it is their duty to fight for that which can’t fight for itself.
Water has always shown us a version of ourselves. Our ancestors first saw themselves in water. Somewhere along the way, most of us lost that connection. But we must reestablish that relationship. Its for our survival. It’s what we are made of.
Be grateful for water. All of it. All the ways it shows up. Honor it. Dont take it for granted. Drink it straight. Make ripples and waves in it. Dont waste it. Conserve it. Share it. Visit it. Submerge in it. Look at yourself in it. Reuse it. Consider it. And fight like hell to protect it.
Here are some ways you can support the water protectors as they oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline:
Here are some simple ways to conserve water: