The Story of Oshun
When the creator first brings to life to the planet it begins with the rocks and the mountains. The spirits, the orisha, of those landforms animate each of their separate patterns to form matter. Then the creator adds the trees and the ocean, and the spirits that inhabit and enliven those parts of nature take up residence.
Oshun is the youngest of the orisha. And because she is young, she is often left out by her older siblings. The bigger, male deities forget to invite Oshun to the celebration of first creation, so for some time the waters of the world are salty, and no life is possible. The male orisha seek counsel with the creator and ask why the world is not yet animated with creatures and plants. Creator says they had better go humbly to their littlest sister Oshun and ask her.
They go apologetically and beg her to come help them create life on earth. She hums and combs her hair, taking a glance into her hand mirror. She is pregnant, and angry at them for their poor treatment of her. Oshun tells them she will wait until she gives birth, and if that child is a girl she will stay right where she is in the ethereal realms, but if that child is a boy–then she will come down and animate the planet they are begging to save.
Time passes, and she does give birth to a male child–Elegba, lord of the crossroads. Only then does Oshun release her sweet waters onto the earth, and the story of life begins. She brings love and beauty to the Earth, and right in the spot where Oshun lands a beautiful fresh spring appears and flows toward the sea. All the little green things, the ferns and the mosses sprung up beside her. She flows like the veins in our bodies over the landscape and under the moonlight. -As told in The Other Side of the River.
As an embodiment of fresh water, Oshun is generous beyond measure. No life is possible without her blessing, no enjoyment exists without her touch. She is a muse and a poet, and she is able to create because she is free and flows how she will. Her story is told as a reminder to invite the unexpected into every day. The world waits, parched, dry and dull until she graces them with her fresh waters.
We spend years in comfort on the shore, fooling ourselves with elaborate illusions of control and consistency. We find routine and false security in jobs, sidewalks, air conditioning, bills, and bank accounts, and this life feels more real (and more convenient) than the wild of the rich green forest full of biting insects, rolling thunderstorms that ruin our picnics, bitter cold nights, and prowling panthers.
When the monotony of predictability penetrates all the way into our bones, we hear the wild calling, and we drive down to the ocean, but we sit in the car and watch the sun set through the windshield. We flock to the lake, but we sunbathe on a chair and cover our bodies with sunscreen. We walk to the river, but we stay affixed to our smartphones to capture the memories. We are called by the wild, but we resist full engagement.
Consider this your sign for the day. Leave the comfort of the shore! Go barefoot. Swim in the dark sea of possibility, create unimaginable art, and kiss the earth. Dare to engage fully with life, with nature, with love. Be an artist–one who creates and contributes to beauty and meaning. Find your creative flow, and keep finding it every single day. As John O’Donohue says, Live your life like a river flows, surprise yourself with your own unfolding.
Live with the wild courage of Oshun and Saraswati. Today.
The world is waiting.
More About Eila:
Eila Carrico grew up in rural central Florida. Her curiosity led her down a meandering path of discovery from a young age. She was inspired by her studies in journalism, anthropology and religion to travel around the world and teach in Paris, Ghana, Thailand and India. She studied yoga and embodied archetypes for nine years before completing a master’s degree in Engaged World Psychology and then an MFA in Creative Writing and Consciousness in San Francisco.
Eila is a weaver and wordsmith who delights in the mystery and magic of landscapes and memory. She lives in Berkeley with her partner and their baby boy where she teaches yoga and weaves stories. Eila’s first book, The Other Side of the River, will be published by Womancraft Publishing in early 2016. The italicized quotes within this piece are featured from her debut book.
Wisit her at EilaCarrico.com and on Facebook as Eila Kundrie Carrico. Sign up for the Womancraft Newsletter and receive a free e-sample of the book and a discount code for purchase. http://eepurl.com/4EreT