A short report of ‘Walking with local waters’

Hosted by Black Mountain Circle, Point Reyes, California

An important element of Walking Water is the story of relationship between the local and the global. What happens on a local level impacts the global and vice versa. Thus we are inspired to connect with our local waterways, and as we become stewards, we recognize that what we do in our local communities truly impacts us all.

During the walk from Mono Lake, through Payahuunadu/Owens Valley and into Los Angeles we were each year joined by walks and events from around the world – Portugal, Turkey, Greece and many others. We could see how the stories of extraction, damming and re-directing waters were similar the world over.

On August 9 and 10 the Black Mountain Circle, based in Point Reyes CA, sponsored a pilgrimage entitled ‘Walk with Local Waters’ – inspired by the organizer Scott Davidson’s participation in Walking Water. Kate Bunney, coordinator and co-founder of Walking Water, joined the walk too as well as Sarah Nutting (MaMuse), Sky Road Webb (Coastal Miwok) and Steve Costa, Kamala Tully and Kate Levinson of Black Mountain Circle.

Walking from Lagunitas Creek, through the Samuel P. Taylor State Park to the Giacomini Wetlands in Point Reyes Station, the group of 25 walkers covered roughly 19 miles in 2 days. Our intention was to explore and restore our relations to water. The night before the walk there was a wild fire on Black Mountain which was quickly put out. This happening brought humility and and an awareness of honoring both fire and water throughout this journey and beyond.

With the heat of the day, the steep ascents and descents, and our packs on our backs, we experienced the physical challenge of walking the land; as well as the incredible beauty and magic of the liberating landscape. We encountered a family of otters who were curious about our singing at the creek, a coyote along the path, and even a swarm of wasps at the dam.

Song and story carried us through as we took breaks under the shade of the redwoods or at the evening campfire at Madrone. We shared the grief for what we have done to these lands and waters, the feelings of isolation, and the inspiration to begin again, so as to restore relations and remember that state where we truly do have all that is needed.

So many hands and hearts came together to make this Pilgrimage happen including a number of farms, restaurants and markets gifting food; as well as each of the ranchers who allowed us permission to cross their land.

With thanks for and with the waters