Saturday, April 25, 2009

Nor Any Drop to Drink

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink ;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

Okay, your Saturday Jeopardy question is... where do these lines come from? Yes, you're all correct. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Coleridge. Well done. The poem speaks of the thirst which cannot be slaked because the water everywhere is salty, the water of the ocean.

What happens when the water we depend on, the supposed freshwater of our planet, is too dirty to drink? Not only is there an increasing number of humans using water in vast quantities, we use many of our waterways and lakes as storm sewers and waste dumps. This is colossally shortsighted, but what's new?

Check out the website for Mother Earth Water Walk. It describes the rather quixotic and deeply symbolic walks made by a group of aboriginal people around the Great Lakes of Canada. They carry a pail of water with them as they go, a reminder of the sacred quality of water, Of course they are also aware of the effects of contaminated water on those who live by it and depend upon it. Many native bands in Canada live alongside contaminated water and continue to deal with compromised health as a result. Since 2003 the group members have circumnavigated the Great Lakes and this year the goal is to walk the St. Lawrence River. Our daughter-in-law, Rebekah, has been diving in the St. Lawrence as part of her master's degree research, and she attests to the fact that it isn't in the greatest shape.

Jesus told a woman by a well, that he was living water, again a reminder of the sacred nature of water in virtually every religion.
We can't exist without it, so it probably a good idea to take care of it.

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