Take a Pebble. Drop it in the water. Watch the ripples on the water.

From Hoots and Hollers, the OVEC BlogJanuary 26, 2014

At bullhorn, Mel and Rose. Photo by Vivian Stockman

On January 21, in the midst of a statewide snowstorm, around 200 people gathered for an event: Honor the Waters Candlelight Vigil.

Outside the West Virginia State Capitol, alongside the Kanawha River, in sub-freezing temperatures and a beautiful snowfall, people stood together to honor and defend our water during a time of crisis.  People across the nation and around the globe held solidarity vigils. (Photos here.)

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Reverends Mel Hoover and Rose Edington read a prayer that they and Reverend Josh Pawelek wrote:

Spirit of the Waters, be with us tonight.  We remember with thankfulness and joy plunging bare feet into river beds, climbing on boulders, picking up river-smoothed rocks, skipping stones and watching pebbles create circles of ripples.

We bring these images to our prayer tonight.

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We acknowledge the Boulder of Anger that arises because our lives are trivialized for corporate profit and our political leaders have failed to provide “we the people” with enough life-giving environmental safeguards and needed industrial regulations.

We acknowledge the Rock of Poverty that has come to our people, land, air, and water from the ravages of the extraction industries.

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We acknowledge the Stone of Thirst that our waters have been poisoned.  We mourn for what has been destroyed.  We thirst to feel safe in our homes and in our bodies, for we don’t know the long term effects of MCHM and other pollutants that we eat, breathe, drink and bathe in.

Spirit of life and of love, we pray for the perseverance of many pebbles together to keep rippling the waters for change; for if we want to make change, we must be willing to ripple the water.

We must be willing to start something; willing to get things moving, willing to offer a different perspective, willing to take action. We must be agitators, instigators, innovators, catalysts. We must be willing to take risks, to say what we think and feel, to speak truth to power, to send a message that moves from person to person to person.

Take a pebble. Drop it in water. Watch the ripples on the water.

If we want to make change, we must be willing to ripple the water. And if the first stone is too small and the ripples lose energy, we must be ready to drop another pebble, perhaps a larger pebble, generating larger, more powerful ripples. And when those ripples lose energy, we must be ready to drop the next pebble, and the next, and the next.

Take a pebble. Drop it in water. Watch the ripples on the water.

May we be like pebbles dropped in water, sources of movement, energy, power.

Take a pebble. Drop it in water. Watch the ripples on the water.

May we be like ripples on the water, constant, continuous, in all directions, expanding the circle wider and wider and wider, until we have created a movement that washes away our boulders of anger, our rocks of poverty, and has satisfied our stones of thirst.

Spirit of the Waters, we ask for strength and perseverance to build a new reality that heals our earth so that the promise of a full, healthy life is possible for our children and our children’s children   throughout the Kanawha Valley, our Wild and Wonderful State, across our land and for all of earth’s children around the planet.

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