California is burning right now. When I left my home state the air quality of my town was registering at the most hazardous level it can go. Can’t even leave the house, they say. Strange then, to come to a place with so much water. The amount of green in this place has a stunning effect on the eyes and the breath. I can feel my body soften and relax in ways that it can never do in the increasingly dry climate of California.
I am staying in a farm cottage with four girlfriends just outside of Bath, England. In many ways, Bath is the heart of the waters of Britain. It the source of thermal hot springs that have been enjoyed by the Celts and made famous by the Romans. It is the only place in Britain where you can bathe in natural thermal waters. Presiding over such an important temple of cultural heritage is the ancient goddess of the land, Sulis. She who's healing power reside in the water that pours fourth from between her legs, from the womb of the earth, unto the land. This Celtic goddess came to be known as Sulis Minerva to the Romans, who built a temple complex around her springs, which you can still visit today.
I was lucky enough to join 11 women for a bathing session at Cross Bath's, the original spring dedicated to Sulis. Every trip to England includes a visit to one or more sacred springs. I find incredible peace at these ancient sites of pure water. However, bathing in springs - a hot springs - is a different matter. It's a complete and utter submersion into the feminine in all her regenerative power.
I am reminded of all the legends linking sacred springs to fertility, marriage and birth. I am reminded of all the women struggling to conceive, to maintain a pregnancy. I am hearing my sisters speak of how deeply our bodies need this water to support the gestation of a baby. I am hearing my sisters speak of drought across the lands and what can be done, what can be done? How do we bee-come the water that regenerates the earth?
I am reminded that there is still work to be done, honey bees to tend and that carving out a path for Woman to claim her place in the wheel of life can be as simple as how one approaches a bee hive. And it can be the roar from the depths of the oceanic womb that calls forth a more nourishing relationship to earth than the one our society is currently expressing. This is why we are beekeeping in skirts here. Metaphorically and/or physically. We are asking and hopefully embodying a different way. A wise, wild, watery way.