The water came on Valentine’s night, in small droplets as it does here in New Mexico’s desert after long periods of drought. But then, bit by bit, these drops became real rain, unabashed, filling the air with long-awaited moisture that seeped down into the thirsty earth.
That night I stepped outside of my boyfriend’s house to smell the first signs of rain. Actually, we all did, including my boyfriend’s sister who commented on how the earth smelled like sweet fragrance as it absorbed the blessed water. We all smiled, as I imagined so many of us here in New Mexico did to finally have rain after months of unusually warm, dry winter days. Here, when the water comes, it’s like a pregnant woman with her water breaking, and new life announcing itself!
The next day, the gray rain clouds remained with us in this city of Albuquerque, and further north, in Taos, it finally snowed and snowed. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed our gray days, since on the East Coast, where I spent half my childhood, rain was common, and I wanted nothing to do with gray. I didn’t appreciate the water as I do now out here in the desert. I always considered myself a person of fire—I loved the warm days filled with sun and longed for the drier climate I grew up with in Spain.
It took me a long time to really appreciate the water and its essence. It seems I only began to understand its full importance during the fall of 2000, as I continued healing from my hip pain. I had always willed my way through life, determined to make things happen in a masculine way of living, dominated by fire and force. But, as I worked on healing myself from years of pain and not walking, I felt the need to explore this element, and its place in my life.
One afternoon in 2000, I decided to go on a shamanic journey with a friend of mine (a shamanic journey is a process of lucid dreaming, where you go on an inner journey with your imagination and full senses, with intention to find clarity on an issue). I did so intentionally to connect with the spirit of water, realizing how little I had done so in the past.
In this journey, I traveled to the center of the earth, to the spirit of water residing in a cave. Through this process it seemed I was connecting with my own womb, with the baby that was a part of me, residing within me inside gentle, loving water. As I did so, I experienced a part of myself I had neglected, a fluid, feminine energy that is a universal part of all of life and the cosmos that flows with no boundary, no limit, no borders.
“When I see a tree, I am a tree. This part of me is in everything I see. It is my universal self mirrored and present in everything,” I wrote in my journal during that autumn of 2000. As I continued on this journey, focusing on the energy of water in my womb, it became a fountain of water, spinning outward, increasingly so as I gave it my attention, so much that my friend and I began to bathe in this water essence that was pure love.
“This entire force of water was magnetic because it flowed outward and was pulled by gravity downward to the roots of the center of the earth,” I wrote in my journal. “Water is everywhere at the same time. It’s like the rays of light that move far, deeply, inside the crevices of life, and is full of surrendered passion.”
As I came out of my journey, and sat with the powerful force of water that I had connected to, I realized how much I had tried to live from a strong fire in my belly, absent of this loving energy of water. I had learned to live like men do, like this extremely masculine culture we live in does. But that day, I saw how it was time to live more from the womb of womanhood—how this soothing, healing, and loving energy is what knows how to connect strongly to all of life, reflecting back ourselves in all we see.
Today, I think about how much we could benefit from this spirit of water, this universal cosmic feminine energy, in our culture of borders, power-hungry leaders that separate us in an effort to dominate, and all the school shootings that kill more and more children and adults. Like here in the desert where the sun dominates the land with its heat, we should call forth more often—in prayer to the feminine—the spirit of water, and her rain and her life-affirming ways to bring healing and remind us of the abundance, love, and ever-flowing connectedness we all carry within us.
Michelle Adam is an experienced writer, teacher, and healer. She recently published her novel, Child of Duende, after twenty-plus years as a magazine and newspaper writer. Her articles have appeared in The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine; Hibernia Magazine, an Irish magazine; Vista Magazine, a Hispanic insert of major national newspapers; and multiple other publications.
Michelle has also been a photographer and artist; has taught middle school students Spanish for the past dozen years; and has worked as a healer and shaman. Michelle has created healing and teaching circles of song and sound, assisting others in awakening the spirit of the earth, “duende,” within them, and creating a space for the celebration of life.