Life sure is full of the daily, isn’t it? It must have always been this way, but somehow a global quarantine has a way of drawing extra attention to it. My days feel different from what they were. But at the same time they feel more similar to one another than they have, perhaps ever.
One of my daily tasks is watering plants. We have a modest vegetable garden, three potted herbs, a handful of houseplants, a tree on the mend who needs extra attention, and a lemon tree and two laurels on the front porch.
It sounds like a lot, but it really only takes me ten minutes to walk around the house to every plant and back and forth, filling up my watering can between. I do it first thing in the morning, and being outside helps wake me up.
But then there’s the cutting garden. For you non-gardeners like me, a cutting garden is just a flower garden intended to be cut into bouquets, when the time comes. Cutting gardens are easy to seed-start, so they’re simple, but need babysitting. (Just like risotto.) They need babysitting because baby wildflowers need to stay moist. Mine is a wildflower mix suited to our zone: 6b. Desert. So no reliable help from the skies around here. Which means the cutting garden beds need at least three or four waterings a day. And so, I carry water.
We could put some of these on a drip system, but there is something daily and inefficient about carrying water that I’ve come to love. Maybe it is that carrying water gives me a short break – from work, from play, from all of the other dailies. Maybe it is that carrying water has evolved for me into a daily prayer.
My Water-Carrying Prayer.
I learned about daily prayers for everything from the Celtic tradition – prayers for waking up, washing your face, lighting the fire, cooking the meat, going to bed. A few years ago I read Esther deWaal’s The Celtic Way of Prayer, and it was really inspiring. The Celtic way of praying incorporates little prayers or poems that are memorized and either spoken or thought to oneself throughout the day.
But my Water-Carrying Prayer is not only Celtic. When I carry water, I think of all of the water carriers throughout the world. All of the people who’ve never turned a handle and seen water run from a tap. All of the people who spend a large part of each day just procuring, carrying, purifying, heating, and cooling water. All of the people struggling to survive because clean water is not accessible.
A friend stopped by yesterday when I was just finishing up my third wildflower watering of the day, and I said in passing, “…let me just finish up my little water-carrying prayer here.”
“What are the words?” she asked. She is a dear, sensitive soul with her own fervent, daily prayers strewn throughout her life. She wanted to learn the Water-Carrying Prayer.
I thought for a second. “Oh, I guess there aren’t any,” I heard myself saying. “I guess I just imagine myself as a Celtic and then I pray God-of-Love to have mercy on all the people who are carrying water right now, with me.”
Do you have any daily prayers? What daily rhythms could you make into a prayer? If you make one up this week, will you please share it with me – with us all? Yours can definitely have words if it helps!
As you know, Joci, I have a 6-mo old. She prefers to eat distracted in the bright bedroom but I prefer to feed her un-distracted in the dark nursery. And so, during many of those dark and quiet feeds, I pray.
Early in the day It goes something like this: “thank you God for this miracle baby I hoped to hold. Thank you for providing for and sustaining us both”
And as the day and feeds progress I add in laments, worries, hopes and dreams from that day. It’s a practice I’ve come to enjoy.
I love this. Thanks for sharing. Yes, new parents have such a special front row seat to dailiness and want – where a person simply cannot survive without prayer. Blessings on your daily and all-through-the-night prayers.
Another parent one, here. On the days that I drive my daughter to childcare in the morning (some mornings my husband does this), we have a “prayer on the way to childcare.” When we reach a point in the middle of our journey that goes through a beautiful park, that is my reminder to pray for our day. Mostly prayers for blessing, health and safety for our family and the family that cares for our daughter. We also pray for God to help us all to love Jesus. It has become a really sweet and cherished ritual for me, as I pray aloud with/over my daughter while she is in the car seat behind me. I’m pretty sure it was borne out of my anxiety as a new mom to entrust my precious daughter to the care of another, but now it is a regular rhythm that we sort of stumbled upon, and I am grateful
I love this. Yes, well, prayer borne out of anxiety may be the best kind. It can’t help but be honest, which is definitely the best kind. And it is perfectly Psalmic. Thanks so much for sharing.
When I was working I usually prayed in the car on my drive to and from work and dropping kids off at school. Now that I’ve been home during the quarantine (laid off temporarily) I find myself struggling to find quiet moments to pray. But I am going to adopt your watering prayer since I also have to water a small garden and various other plants & flowers each day.
Thanks, Carla. Yes, I’m the same way! – when I have “more” time but less structure (and, with kids home, less quiet!), I struggle to keep doing the things that are most important to me. Blessings on your search for quarantine-quiet moments.
Hi my friend! I am thankful for reading this today. I realized I silently speak certain prayers while doing certain things without even realizing about it!…Such as feeding my baby (also), prepping veggies, washing dishes, watching my kids ride bikes….And now I will be able to be more intentional about it. Thank you 🙂 Ive even come to realize i pray for specific people when I’m opening a certain closet, and squeegeeing the shower! So weird, but God puts those people in my mind while doing those things. Thanks for sharing, and now I will be adding the water carrying prayer to my routine ❤️
Hi! Yes, I do the same thing with certain people coming to mind in certain places – just holding them up to God. Thanks for sharing.
When I find myself waking from sleep I “say”, “I love you, LORD! Thank YOU for loving me first.
Please love others and work through me today.”
Thanks for sharing! What a great way to start the day.