Friday, August 13, 2010

My Love Affair

I am not writing this post today with some deep, dark confession.  My marriage is quite well.  The love affair I have in my life is not outside of my life-long commitment to The Committee.  No, it is a deep, passionate love affair with water.  Whether it is the ocean, our wonderful, rustic lake retreat that The Committee's family co-owns, the local pool we visit, or my bathroom shower, I can't get enough of feeling the cool, crisp flow. 

Perhaps it is the season that we are in right now.  The temperatures are soaring and getting hotter by the day.  But, I can't help but squelch the desire to abandon all household duties to go and jump on the nearest float and soak up the joys of calm water.  I can't get enough! 

Just this weekend I spent time with friends and family lounging in the lake all day.  I couldn't have found a better place to rejuvenate my soul.  There is nothing I enjoy more, than sitting on the dock at the cabin watching One-of-a-Kind floating in a tube eyeing the boats out in the main channel.  We both feel a sense of calm with the movement of the water around our bodies.  Each day, Straight Hair hurls his body into the pool with huge gusto followed by a loud banshee scream.  It seems this is a necessary release for his psyche.  The Wild Hair refuses to move out of the kitchen sink because he loves to soak while I am completing dinner preparations or finishing household chores.  This love affair is a part of all of us!

But, I can't seem to convince myself that all is right with my heart's desire.  Our global water supply is taking a beating.  We are all aware of the oil spill in the Gulf.  How many eco-systems are being obliterated by the oil and dispersant being used to contain the oil?  While many of us focus upon whether our next vacation trip will be ruined, most local fisherman are thinking of how they will put food upon the table for their family over the coming months.  It truly hurts my heart to see the impacts of negligence.  And trust me, I am by no means an avid environmentalist.  I would love to be more sincere about my eco-friendliness, but it hasn't always been a priority.  However, my heart is starting to turn to this way of life.

Did you know...
~884 million people lack access to safe water supplies; approximately one in eight people. 
~3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease.
~The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns. 
~Poor people living in the slums often pay 5-10 times more per liter of water than wealthy people living in the same city.
~An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than a typical person in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.  
~Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease. 
~Children in poor environments often carry 1,000 parasitic worms in their bodies at any time. 
~In the developing world, 24,000 children under the age of five die every day from preventable causes like diarrhea contracted from unclean water.
~1.4 million children die as a result of diarrhea each year.

How can these facts be true?  I can walk across my kitchen and turn on my sink to get clean water at any time of the day or night?  Why have I not ever realized these facts?  What can I do?  How can I make a difference? 

The children that are dying these atrocious deaths are not any different from my 7 year old, 5 year old, 3 year old, and newborn boys.  They were simply born to a different mother in a different location.  Having not been a huge environmentalist in the past, I feel guilt over my carelessness.  I wish to learn more about what can be done and vow to behold a different thought process.  I will spend more time thinking about the steps (although small) I can take to make a difference, rather than the next chance I can get to drift in my beloved water.

I am not, by any means, the first person to begin to think about this global issue.  There are so many that have thought about these issues day in and day out.  This is a new nirvana for me.  But, with small steps by all of us, we can try to preserve the world's water supply.  I have generally thought, "Oh, that is not my problem."  But, in fact, it is my is a problem of mankind.  With helpful preservation tips, I can hopefully make a difference for my children.

So, where can I start?  As individuals, we can all rein in our own water use to help conserve what is becoming an ever more precious resource.  We can hold off on watering our lawns in times of drought.  When it does rain, we can gather gutter water in barrels to feed garden hoses and sprinklers.  We can turn off the faucet while we brush our teeth or shave, and take shorter showers (urrgghh, can I really do this?).  As Sandra Postel concludes, “Doing more with less is the first and easiest step along the path toward water security.”

I pledge to you today, I will try so hard to do more with less! 

P.S. ...Could this the beginning of a trend for all other things in my life???

My dream pool for the backyard...I know The Committee would say, "Keep on dreamin' sista!"

1 comment:

Sarah said...

LOVE it! And you deserve such a nice pool to relax in after taking such great care of your family!!