Monday, August 13, 2012

Lucky Monday the 13th

Usually silent, the street declares each vehicle's passing, as tires swish through gallons of wasted water running out for hours now from a century-old pipe.

The sky is a little cloudy, and so the sound is bringing a bit of peace, tricking my brain into that lull of rainy-day lazy.

Only, it's Monday evening, work is over for a while, and I've collected about 10 gallons of no-charges-required water for I-don't-know-what-purpose. I'm not about to buy clean distilled (petroleum-plastic-bottled) product just to flush a few toilets every 24 hours, at least not until I have to.

We have a few gallons of washing water, and a few gallons that can be imbibed. Or given to the cat and the domestic caged birds.

There's a statistic about how the five-minute American shower uses more water than a developing country's inhabitant uses all day.

Our standard of clean here is impossibly high, yet entities like and others are to be admired for helping to bring basic sanitation to the millions of people living in thousands of pockets of filth (which most of us de facto ignore). Naturally, I'm not 100 percent convinced we all would have enough to drink, even if there were more pipes, more distillation spots, more of what a Little Sister of Saint Francis characterized to me three days ago as bore holes (wells) for her Kenyan hometown where people still use the river.

Millions of people, which sounds small if you call them 14 percent of the world's human population, walk miles and miles every day for water.

And lots of children die from easy-fix, water-borne illnesses.

I admit it sounds idyllic to visit a river daily. To respect what it has, to conserve, etc. Our collective population has become too large for river-visits to work anymore.

Today, I took a relatively few meditative steps back and forth between the sidewalk and the drought-stricken maple tree in our yard. For about 10 minutes, I stooped, gathered, moved, and dumped. I do think of water's scarcity anytime I use it. There is no way I would pay the City to allow me to turn on the hose and douse the suffering plant, and what I transferred can't make much difference to something 80 feet tall. For all I know, its roots are inches away from costing me thousands in "on your territory" pipe damage anway.

Thinking about water's scarcity doesn't help, though. No one will change, less I, from this micro-experience of "want."

People, even the vegan neighbors, even the gay neighbors, seemed to think I was overreacting. Why not collect muddy-swirl-free-water and stash it on the porch? It's just like gold to me, only for now I can leave it outside untended without the fear of anyone's stealing it.

Don't ask me about 2043 : )


Hyperblogal said...

I have been watering my back-yard trees... especially the Japanese Maple.... simply because I don't want to have to look at the neighbors if the trees die.

pom. said...

I want to email you.