Oshun is the Orisha Goddess of fresh water - the energy of bounty, blessings, home, and hearth. The name Oshun translates to mean "spring" or "source." As the Orisha of fresh water, Oshun represents the source of all life. No matter what country we live in, our religion, our income, our lifestyle, or our politics, water will continue to be a dwindling resource. We face a crisis, globally as well as locally, in meeting our clean-water needs. The crisis is as serious as our energy crisis.
Most of the world’s surface water is locked up in the oceans as salt water. Only 3% of the world’s water is freshwater. As the Earth’s population continues to grow and expand, the search for freshwater sources is ongoing whether existing, recycled or desalinated.
Two-thirds of that 3% is frozen into the North and South polar icecaps and glaciers. With those ice caps now melting and dissolving into the salty oceans, how much further does that reduce that percentage?
More than 1 billion people around the world lack access to safe drinking water. Nearly 5 million die each year from water-related illnesses. That number continues to grow.
The most effective and sound water policy is conservation. Here are some simple and effective water conservation tips to incorporate into your life today, and hold sacred for the rest of your life:
- Dripping faucets and leaky pipes are among the worst water-wasting offenders. Make certain sure that your appliances aren’t big wasters.
- Low-flush toilets and low-flow shower heads help to ensure conservation by restricting the volume of water involved in each flush or during each shower.
- Make sure to turn off water during periods of non-use, while brushing your teeth, for example. If washing or rinsing dishes by hand, adjust the flow of water to a small stream so that the majority of water goes where you need it to, and doesn’t escape down the drain.
- Drip, or trickle irrigation has been used for centuries, and is a very water-efficient system for your yard, aimed at getting the water where it’s needed most - plants, not pavement! If your space is small enough, consider watering by hand – not only will the water get where it needs to be, you will maintain a connection with your plants and the natural surroundings.
- Water early in the day so your watering efforts are maximized and evaporation does not occur too quickly, which can dry out your plants.
- Apply a layer of mulch over the soil for your flowers, plants and vegetables. This will help to seal in and retain moisture, and preserve your soil’s nutrient content.
Representing the living water, Oshun teaches us if we are caught up in in the flow of our lives to stop and be truly present. She also teaches us to go with the flow of our instincts in order to find intuitive and new ways, better ways. She teaches us to love and be generous to ourselves and to each other. She teaches us self-confidence, and she urges us to restore harmony by working together so all may know health, wellness, abundance and prosperity.
I know that you've heard this all before, but today, this Earth Day 2009, please choose to act, choose to honor the Earth and the spirit of Oshun by making your life and lifestyle choices an homage to the sweet waters. Lead by example. Do what you consider to be your part, and it really will make a difference.
May you be blessed with commitment, courage, and compassion.