Friday, June 24, 2011

Water Is the Hand That Holds the Staff of Life

Thirst That Isn't Always Quenched

Thirst is on my mind these days. Thirst defines my craving throughout the day. Thirst defines the state of my yard. Thirst defines the state of my state—Florida. Summer officially started mere days ago, but we swelter here in the southeast and northwest areas of the state. We are scorched. We thirst. Our land is parched. Water levels in our wells are diminishing. Lake Okeechobee is diminishing. Rainy season is delayed. Mother Nature or whomever is in charge of the skies and the earth in this dehydrated place has turned aside and from a distance views the dusty roads, the evaporating canals, and the withering lawns.
Not enough clouds in this sky
Obsessive-compulsive proclivities in full gear, I watch the sky, I check I wait and delight in dark clouds, yet am disappointed when the few spits of rain that fall are quickly sucked into the hot griddle path of concrete that wends it way to my door.
Water glass at my elbow, I quench my bodily thirst throughout the day. Were it so easy, I would attach an elbow and water glass to the outside world and have it replenished as soon as it is drained.
Patience is difficult as I see the green of the earth fade to browns and tans. I want it to rain now. Wanting doesn’t make it happen.
I don’t have facts, figures, and statistics to prove how much the greed of civilization has hastened the browning of the region in which I live. I read about estates using millions (millions!) of gallons of water each month to keep landscaping lush, green, and tropical. During the heat of the noonday sun, I drive past houses and see sprinklers fling precious drops of moisture into the baked air. Others, I am certain, hide under cover of darkness and irrigate away to keep their properties verdant.
I appreciate water in these dry days. I conserve it, and use only sparing amounts to keep my herbs and flowers alive until the rains come. Physical thirst is easily slacked, but even that can be trying. Softened water flowing from my faucets has too high of a sodium content for me to safely drink it. Every week, we head to the reverse-osmosis water-filling station and fill our jugs. We are blessed. We have access to potable water, when millions throughout the globe do not.
I am grateful for that blessing. I am grateful I can take a glass and fill it and drink. Treasuring this gift, I will not waste it.
Artesian describes the well at my home in Massachusetts. It’s 300 feet deep; the water is clear, cold, and tastes marvelous. When I return to New England, at the end of my 1350-mile drive, I pull into the driveway, stop the car, get out, and stretch. I hug the people I love, and then I walk to the kitchen, get a glass from the cabinet, walk to the sink, and fill the glass with that delightful liquid, which I then cherish as every drop flows across my lips and tongue and into my body. “Ah, water is good.”
It’s more than good. It keeps us alive. It’s important to be aware of how we use water, of how we abuse water, of how much it matters to us. If bread is the staff of life, then water is the hand that holds that staff.
What’s the best water you ever tasted? When you next take a drink, can you be grateful for the life-giving essence of water and be mindful of how you use it, how you conserve it, and how you honor it?

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