From the Milky Way Our Watery Way

Lake Erie Breakwater

From my window there is a clear view of the Lake Erie breakwater and the waves banging against the restraint. White caps pop randomly in the shallows. Our Lake is only sixty feet deep on average and that, in part, defines how it behaves.

Today the sky is clearer with streaks of blue and the water is dark at the horizon, turning to aqua then tan near the shore. All is dynamic and changeable during this season.  Soon the trees will leaf and the waves will be obscured from my view.

On Monday the helpful rain cleaned off the bird debris from Dave’s car as I was driving back from Akron and listening to a story about water on NPR. The sprinkling lasted all afternoon and, suddenly as I saw the Cleveland skyline, it stopped. Superior Avenue was dry as I turned in to park.

And this morning I looked at our emptying refrigerator and saw three half full water bottles. I can’t seem to pour purchased water down the drain and, having no pets nor plants to drink it, I leave the bottles there.

Water. We are lucky in Cleveland to have it brought into our homes so cheaply and plentifully. Then we return it to a filtration plant with our minute bits medication, shampoo, and other chemicals that cannot be filtered out.

All the water on the earth has been here since its creation. We will not get more. All the water we use today has been filtered through animals and plants thousands, if not millions, of times. We are drinking dinosaur piss.  But don’t think about it too hard (especially since we have no choice).

And here in Cleveland we pull it out of Lake Erie for free. We only have to pay for getting it from the Lake to our faucets. What if we had to pay for the water itself (think  of God setting up a cash register and sending out invoices)?  Would you empty half full water bottles down the sink? Would you work, scheme, and design to fill the dishwater in ways you never would have believed possible? Would you take a sailor’s shower—wet yourself down, turn off the water, lather up, turn the water back on and rinse?

People speculate that, once the sun belt states use up their water, businesses will return to the “water belt”. The Great Lakes contain 21 percent of the earth’s fresh water and 81 percent of North America’s. Someday, maybe, I’ll be walking to the library or gym in the rain and pass buildings bursting with commerce, all here because we have an abundance of what came to us from the stars. It’s enough to make my eyes—well water.


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2 responses to “From the Milky Way Our Watery Way”

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  1. Judy says:

    I saw your comment on our blog – yeah! As for your beautiful essay on water, cool clear water… you are so right! We may not live to see it, but it may be that the place where we have settled down will become a very popular spot again. In the meantime, we are called to be good stewards of the environment, and we must not take that challenge lightly.

  2. Carolyn says:

    Waste not, want not. Remember that? It’s so true. It’s good to be reminded!