In our household, we take water conservation pretty seriously: we have a xeriscape yard, use low-flow appliances, and recycle gray water to help water our trees, among other things. So, when I recently saw a vast stream of water gushing out of a fire hydrant and flowing down the street just around the corner from our house, I immediately pulled over, ready to call 311 and report this stunning waste.
SPOTTING THE PROBLEM
But on closer inspection, there was already a San Antonio Water System (SAWS) employee on the scene, standing nearby in the shade of his truck, casually observing the cascade of water. When I got out of my car to engage him in conversation and find out why this was happening, the man was polite, but unfazed as he reeled off an answer he'd clearly given many times before. He was conducting a mandatory, annual SAWS maintenance procedure, because this fire hydrant hadn't been used in the past year. Therefore, he's required to flush hundreds of gallons of stagnant water out of this pipe, until the water runs clear enough to pass the water quality test he'll administer. Moreover, this was just one of several hydrants in our neighborhood that would be flushed that day. He was also quick to point out that failure to do this could easily allow stagnant water to wash back into the water system and cause a costly, wide-spread contamination of our entire municipal supply, which is exactly what had happened in Corpus Christi just a few months ago.
As I drove off, shaking my head in disbelief at the sight of this massive stream flowing out of the hydrant and into the gutter, it occurred to me that this seeming waste of precious water was an apt metaphor for the way we tend to accumulate stagnant energy inside ourselves. Whether it comes through stress, lack of exercise, poor diet or physical fatigue, if we don't take conscious action to address such stagnation, it can contaminate and/or diminish every aspect of our body, mind and spirit. "Flushing it out" of our system doesn't have to be complicated, time-consuming or expensive, but it does require some degree of self-awareness, honesty and diligence. Whenever you notice yourself feeling sluggish or depleted, it can be helpful to look for those places in your life where the energy is stuck or stagnant, and then take action to release it. Addressing it can be as simple as taking some time off to be in nature, engaging in vigorous exercise, committing to a period of prayerful reflection or volunteering to be of service to others.
Now might be a particularly good time to do some kind of inner "Spring Cleaning" since it's the season for renewal and new life. But, whenever you do it, this process of flushing out the stagnation starts with an awareness of the blockages in your life, and a willingness to take action, remembering that you don't have to do it alone, knowing that the free flow of Spirit is always available to support you in the process. At least, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it...
With gratitude and blessings,