The Vessel of Compassion: A Water Communion Story

The Vessel of Compassion: A Water Communion Story

Katie Gelfand

This story is great to be acted out by four women (of applicable ages for each direction) around a large bowl/vessel.

Once upon a time, in a time that is both this time and no time, at the turning of the ninth moon of the year, four women journeyed from four different directions to share a moment of sacredness together. Each carried a pitcher of water from her home embedded with the stories and emotions of her life and community. They congregated around an empty vessel, united in the desire to listen to the stories and hearts of one another.

The Youngest woman came from the East with the spirit of Air. As she poured water from her pitcher into the vessel, she shared stories from her home about the excitement of children being born, the music of laughter that fragranced the neighborhoods, and the bliss of young people falling in love. As she shared the story of her heart, she laughed and drops of liquid joy burst from her mouth and landed inside the vessel.

The four women paused to honor the stories from the East, and the spirit of the woman who shared them.

The Mother came from the South with the spirit of Fire. As she poured water from her pitcher into the vessel, she shared stories from her home about adapting to the ever-changing world of motherhood, the challenges of navigating family life, and the difficulties her community faced with transitions in leadership. As she shared the story of her heart, a drop of sweat formed on her brow and landed inside the vessel.

The four women paused to honor the stories from the South and the spirit of the woman who shared them.

From the West with the spirit of Water came the Sovereign woman. As she poured water from her pitcher into the vessel, she shared stories from her home about friends and loved ones who had died, the grief of those who missed them, and the deep pain she carried for the wounds humans have inflicted on each other and our world. As she shared the story of her heart, a tear of sadness fell from her eye and landed inside the vessel.

The four women paused to honor the stories from the West and the spirit of the woman who shared them.

From the North came the Elder woman with the Spirit of Earth. As she poured water from her pitcher into the vessel, she shared stories from her home about the peace she found in solitude, the comfort she found in witnessing the changing of the seasons and phases of the moon, and the renewal she felt when sharing her wisdom with those who would listen. As she shared the story of her heart, a tear of joy fell from her eye and landed inside the vessel.

The four women paused to honor the stories from the North and the spirit of the woman who shared them.

Now between the four women was a vessel filled with the waters of joy and happiness, change and transition, grief and loss, and rest and renewal. Mingled together in harmony and blessed by the women through their reverence and love for each other, the empty vessel of water was now a full Vessel of Compassion. Each woman took out a small container and filled it with water to bring back to her home to share the spirit of understanding and compassion with her own community.