It is a part of our makeup, our essence, vitality, and survival. More precious than gold and petroleum, it is water.
I am not sure when my love affair began with water, perhaps in the womb. Not long after that, I have a sharp memory of my father shaving in his bathroom one morning. I approached him when I heard the water running, so I asked him to turn off the water while he was shaving. My direction wasn’t well received, but even at that young age I knew that preserving and protecting our water was important to me.
Flash forward a few years and our neighbor is washing the cars next door in his driveway. He would let the water run as he washed the car, and I could feel the pain of losing that water as it ran down the street. I went inside and crafted a letter disguising myself basically as the water police. I had mentioned that he should turn off the water while washing his cars, and mentioned a penalty fine if it continued.
I know, not terribly honest, but I was desperate to cherish every drop.
The healing effects of water are too many to mention. I look at my young child laying in a warm (shallow) bath of water each evening with lavender oil and she relaxes and softens, and never wants to come out. I have always gravitated towards water as I feel buoyant and most myself in water.
As an urban walker, I often observe life in many different neighborhoods in Los Angeles. What I have noticed not only in the building that I live in, but in so many homes are labor saving devices. Long gone are the days of my childhood when I was told to water the plants with a hose, or managed the turning on and off of the sprinklers. More common are gardeners who program our sprinkler system to go on and off at a scheduled time. This is wonderful, except that the other morning as I was walking in the mist, I noted multiple homes with their sprinklers running. Just when I thought I was diligent of all facets of my energy and water saving, I hit yet another layer. My commitment is to look at the sprinkler controls at our home, and look at the actual amount of time our sprinklers run three days a week, and see if we could decrease that time. My second commitment is having a rain plan, and that plan includes understanding how to shut off my “automatic “sprinklers.
The other night my child and I were out walking the neighborhood in the evening. We came upon a tree being watered at a neighbor’s home. Trying desperately not to obsess about how long the hose may have been on, I kept walking and talking to my child. When she expressed a desire to knock on the door to let the neighbors know that their hose was still running, I supported her as she walked up to the front door. I was proud of my little one as she asked about the watering, and the neighbor was kind and responsive.
Among many solutions, I would love to see the homes of Los Angeles one day capture the rainwater we receive each year, and reuse that water in beneficial ways. I would love for our water to be clean, protected, cherished, and treasured for the life force that it provides our world. I would love our fast paced sunny city to celebrate rainy days for what they offer which is our essential need for water as well as a beautifully slower pace.
I have begun a gratitude journal again, and each evening I add water as part of my list for things that I am grateful for in my life.
One day when my child approaches me with some water saving advice, I am going to thank her as well as pat myself on the back.World Water Day is a day of observation, debating, discussing, praying, and celebrating.