It is World Water Day, a day to celebrate and honour the ever-giving element and source of life that flows within us all. This global event has its different flavours and intentions, one of which is to highlight the importance of having clean and flowing water. It is a day where communities can come together and use their collective voice to bring about positive change. It is an opportunity to carve the future and to promote a time where humans and the natural world live in harmony, guided by values of reciprocity and respect.
Given the auspicious nature of this day, it seemed the right moment for Friends of the River Medway to be formally born. Our conception was last summer, when Ellen organised a community clean up that attracted a significant number of people across Forest Row. She was inspired to act in defence of the River after acknowledging the ways in which the River had been neglected and abused. The enthusiasm and passion that people brought meant that we were able to clear the River of discarded bicycles, old machinery, and much more. People carried mountains of rubbish to the tip out of their love for the River, knowing that she gives us much more than we return. This left a ripple effect: we all wanted to do more for the River, for the sake of all.
Our group came together with the dream to integrate three streams: Practical, Legal and Sacred. Each stream is treated with equal importance and recognised for their unique, but also interconnected value. The Practical focuses on physically removing and preventing pollution from the River, so that she can be restored back to her natural state as well as campaigning and engaging with our community to increase awareness of river pollution and harm. The Legal strives to enforce current legislation and introduce new systems, championing the Rights of Rivers so that she is protected and guarded for. The Sacred is inspired by the wish to create a deeper connection with the River and to build a relationship that rests upon listening, reciprocity and care. Through working with these three impulses, we hope to address the health of the River Medway in a holistic and loving way, for all to enjoy.
So, on World Water Day, we invite you to join us and put your love into action for the beautiful River that courses through these lands.
ONLINE EVENTS YOU CAN JOIN TODAY:
The UN’s World Water Day - https://www.worldwaterday.org - a global event that seeks to shine light on what water means to people, its true value and how we can better protect it.
MANAVAI’s World Water Gathering - https://www.worldwatergathering.com - a global event centred around promoting ancestral wisdom, new water science, environmental and social justice, music and film, and a global water ceremony.