May/June 1999 Featured Stories
The Rootwoman and the Well
Rebecca Haynes As told by Patricia
PERION bottled water comes from the only commercial source on Mt.
Hood, near the Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness. This pure water is drawn
from an exceptionally deep artesian well located on privately owned,
protected property. PERION is naturally filtered through hundreds of
feet of ancient volcanic deposits. Family owned and operated, PERION
assures its customers that they are drinking some of the very best water
Mother Nature has to offer. Bottles range in size from 16.9 fl. oz.
to 1 gallon. PERION now offers free delivery to homes and offices in
the Portland Metropolitan area and is available in many fine hotels,
restaurants, delicatessens and other retail outlets.
This is the story of how one family created an important, earth-friendly
way to serve their community.
This story is all true. In this magical, chaotic present time, when
the world is as it is, there was a Rootwoman. She and her family lived
snuggled up next to Mt. Hood. There were other Rootwomen in the area
and they loved and honored Mother Earth and they supported her with
respect. The Rootwomen were here, there and everywhere. They were called
"wise women" by some, and by others "old fools, spinsters, grannies,
witches, hags and herb women."
Rootwoman's family respected all life. They honored the folk tales
and the creatures we can't see. The faeries, divas and mythological
beasts were all acknowledged and respected. The countryside between
Rootwoman's home and the big city was gradually being taken over by
those mysterious, and sometimes destructive, two-legged creatures called
"people." The wilderness and farmland were being swallowed by townhouses
and condos. The people were leaving the cities on a search for clean
air and fresh water.
The time had come in the balance of things, that Rootwoman and her
family knew they needed to share the good water from their well. This
wonderful well had supplied them for many years with the Great Mother's
purest, sweetest drinking water. The father said, "We must have a deeper,
more abundant well if we are to quench the thirst of all who would drink
from this special place."
And so, Rootwoman and her family decided that they would have to drill
into the Earth to find a deeper source of the Mother's lifeblood, water.
The father called in the dowsers. The dowsers used an ancient craft
and their intuition to find the water. They walk the area until their
sticks tremor and point to where the water will be found. The land was
hilly country which made it difficult, so the father asked for a second
dowser to come and verify if the spot was right. When it was confirmed,
Rootwoman's family called in the drillers and their rig. The drilling
was expensive. "Twenty-five dollars a foot" the rig foreman cried out.
The drill and its scaffold stood out over the trees. The family gathered
in the house to count out the money they would need to pay the drillers.
The drilling crew began their work. The Root Family watched as the
drill went deeper and deeper into the stone and bone of the Great Mother.
"One hundred feet," yelled the foreman. The family looked on and fussed
over counting the money.
One dark and stormy night a week after the drilling had begun, Rootwoman
and her granddaughter snuggled closely in their bed. They watched as
the Thunderbeings danced and cavorted across the sky. As Rootwoman and
her granddaughter were finishing their prayers, a flash of light from
outside caught their eye. The lightning was beginning a slow dance around
the drill rig. It circled and twirled and lunged at the rig. The lightning
struck the well and went streaking down the hole, right to the heart
of the Great Mother. Rootwoman drew her granddaughter close. She wondered
what kind of magic was dancing around that rig. And then all of a sudden
she got her answer. In a brilliant flash of light she saw those cloven
hooves. It was Pan strutting around that water drill. In all his manliness
dancing with the elements and smelling of testosterone and goat.
The next day Rootwoman gave great thought to what she had seen. "We
need the sweet water from Mother Earth. The only way to get it is to
drill deeper and deeper into her." Then it came to her, "The Mother
and the water are both feminine and here we are using all this 'male
stuff' to get to the water. The Mother just needs some good old fashioned
She called her Rootwoman friends and held a council. The council of
Rootwomen and the family decided a nice ceremony of love and appreciation
would respectfully ask for the Earth's blessing. This would help the
drillers to find the water. The family and the council planned on how
they would get the drillers to stop the work for half a day. Rootwoman
and her family asked the drillers to stop so they could call in somebody
to "pray" for help and assist in getting to the sweet water.
The foreman was a bit shocked by this request. He did acknowledge that
the well was going to be deep and expensive. The foreman was also a
religious man and understood the need to keep things respectful. The
drilling would stop at noon for half a day. The council of Rootwomen
called in the troops. They gathered their angels, goodies and treats
in support of Mother Earth. They made rice crispy squares, as it was
a favorite. They also brought fruit and cookies and all kinds of talismans,
feathers and personal medicine.
They all waited in the kitchen for the drilling to stop. Twelve noon
came and went and the drill kept drilling. The Rootwomen mumbled and
prayed and let the Mother know that they were coming. At one-thirty
the father walked up to the well site and asked when they were going
to stop. The foreman, being a detail man, wanted to continue till they
hit four hundred feet and since they were almost there he would throw
in the last twenty-five feet for free! "Done" said the father, as he
could not pass up a deal. And the drill kept moving into the earth.
Suddenly, the drill started to crackle and snap and make strange noises.
It squeaked and moaned and with a loud bang it shut down. Smoking and
belching. The crew grabbed their hats and moved from the area. When
the dust settled they all came back to look at the damage. The foreman,
cursing and grumbling, said "What the hell happened ?" The technician
started looking for the problem. An armature had broken on the machine
and the part could only be ordered from a company in Texas! The drill,
the rig, and Mother Earth would get rest for at least two days!
The father returned to the Rootwomen sitting in the kitchen with their
baskets of magic and gave them the good news. The workmen started to
leave for the day taking their lunches, hard hats and gloves with them.
The Rootwomen waited until the last truck and man headed down the road.
They brought out their presents and objects of magic and scurried up
the hill to the well. The area smelled of gasoline and diesel. The women
coughed and choked. But gradually, the area was filled with the smell
of fresh trees and soft clouds.
The Rootwomen opened the gifts. They draped lovely cloths on the ground,
lit candles and incense and set food and drink in honor of Mother Earth.
They sang and danced and patted her bones. They prayed and offered gifts
of tobacco. They blessed her and soothed her and stayed until it was
dark. They asked the Mother how deep to drill to reach the water. They
danced up energy from the Earth, using the ancient maze. They circled
as a group and with intuition they agreed that the lifeblood would be
found at eight hundred feet.
Every day that the Mother rested, they brought her goodies and sang
to her. The Rootwomen thanked the Mother for her energy and her loving
gifts. At the end of two days the workmen returned and the drilling
began again. This time, the drill moved with greater ease. The drill
brought up a stone at five hundred feet and everyone marveled at the
stories it could tell of the History of the Earth.
With praise and prayers the drill hit water at exactly eight hundred
feet! The sweet flowing water had been found. The foreman exclaimed
that it might be an underground river. When the first cup of sweet water
was brought forth from the Earth they sang and rejoiced. The cup was
passed around and everyone got a taste of the fresh, good water. What
a gift the Mother had given the Root Family! With thanks they planned
to share the water with others, and in return the People supported the
Root Family with money.
OHO! AND SO IT IS AND SO IT WILL BE.