With the threat of a drought, even water-rationing looming, the California Catholic Conference of Bishops is calling on people of all faiths to pray for rain.
Coincidentally, MyFolsom's own Dawn Grove organized a rain ceremony this past Sunday at Folsom Lake.
I'll let Dawn tell the story:
It was eight in the morning on a cold Sunday in January; the sky was pale blue and depressingly clear. Not a cloud in sight. There were fifteen of us representing various races, genders, economic backgrounds, ranging from age two to sixty-five. Many of us were friends, some had not met each other before, but all of us were affected by and concerned about the drought. We were here to call the rains.
We danced the zigzag pattern of the water. We chanted to call the rain, we chanted to call the Spirit of the West to bring them. We made a solemn pledge to honor our Mother Earth and Father Sky. We tied blue ribbons and pinned them to our clothes to make a bond, a promise, to be aware of the precious gift of water and to conserve and use it responsibly.
After the ceremony we hiked the desolate landscape. It was a solemn reminder at first but then we began to talk and laugh. We spent two hours exploring the ruins, taking pictures and looking at the artifacts that folks had placed on stumps and broken walls for us to find (it is illegal to remove anything from the park). We laughed as we helped each other jump the stream and worked as a unit helping a big wheeled stroller over. We joked with strangers and petted dogs and placed our own found artifacts on stumps.
When it was time to leave, we all somehow found each other even though our hike had scattered us for a couple of miles. Without a word or any preset plan we gathered and walked out together. As we neared our cars, we gathered for a group photo and then hugged each other, bonded. We all grinned and many of the participants exclaimed how beautiful the ceremony was. Two women who were strangers before the ceremony left together to get lunch. As friends, they drove away in a convertible; they were chatting and laughing.
The ceremony was not about superstition but about comforting each other. It was about a community coming together to support each other and to channel their concern into something positive. Rain did not immediately begin to fall on our heads but we received a gift almost as good; friendship and hope.
“I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are,
But rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.”
Sun Bear of the Chippewa Tribe