Emmett and I have just returned from our first trip to the Owens Valley, where we will be starting the 3-week pilgrimage with Walking Water later in September.
We’ve been diving into the water story in this valley: a complex web of water conflict stemming from a worldview of linear thinking that water is simply a commodity to gain wealth and power—a means to an end. Owens Valley is a prime example of increasing water stories all over the world, where a water rich valley has been colonized, drained, and pumped to a metropolis nearby (Los Angeles in this instance - an arid city 275 miles “downstream”).
We climbed to the top of the Sierras, where water is overflowing out of the earth, and back down to the valley, were the water would normally collect in a series of lakes and rivers. Instead of lush waterways, meandering through the valley, we found dried up lake beds and dust.
This is a blaring example of our deeply entrenched cultural paradigm of separation. Who is to blame, when this paradigm is so rooted in our consciousness?
We had the honor of meeting with Alan Bacock and Kathy Bancroft, two gracious Paiute people, who embody a contrasting worldview. Pauite wisdom illuminates a paradigm of relationships, cycles, and interconnection. It is of deep importance that we honor this way of relating through Reflection, and that we learn how to be in right relationship with water, as native peoples have done for thousands of years.
The journey has begun…
Cailey and Emmett