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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Water: pro and con

I have fond memories involving water.  At one time it was my responsibility to mow the families yard.  It was 2/3 of an acre of a lawn. I had a push mower and the job was a dreaded event. Thankfully it was not needed to be done in the winter.  It was big enough to mow the front lawn one day, the back lawn the next day.  It was an old country yard with dips and holes and odd angles to push into and back out of.  That was the front yard and the back yard was more difficult to mow due to the locust trees which grew like weeds and spread before noticing they have taken over.  When that happens you have to mow around them or cut them down.

I liked them. They can grow 20 feet in their first five or six years and be five inches in diameter. Their wood resists rot and is often harvested for fence posts. The locust trees left to grow have long leafy clusters which become filled with wonderful perfumed white blossoms in June. The shadows of their leaves is light and lacy compared to the shade from the maple leaves... but we we're talking about water. 

I had a well which I paid almost $3000 in 1974 to have drilled.  The well digging device was impressive. The well driller called it a  'pneumatic pounder' and explained the difference between  'screw' type drilling and the pounder which he favored.  He pounded through 158 feet of earth and shale before hitting water.  

On a summer day when mowing the lawn I chose this water ahead of beer.  Coming in parched and thirsty and letting the water run until the water from the faucet was the temperature of the water at the bottom of the well made me anticipate the first cool gulp. 

Almost immediately after the first glass my skin was covered with perspiration.  It would take several glasses before my body cooled.   The water from the bottom of the well was 52 degrees Fahrenheit. On a 85 degree afternoon that water was good when coming in from mowing.  The water flowed deep underground in an environment of shale now identified as part of the 'Marcellus shale' formation.  It was 'hard' water with lots of calcium that would clog water pipes.

The taste of the water was ... I'm trying to describe the taste of water.  How does water taste when it has no flavor?  We experience water with our eyes and our nose as much as with our taste. Does it sparkle? Does it have an odor?  If water can be tasted it probably should not be used for human consumption. The taste of fresh water is like the feeling you have when breathing clean mountain air. It is a taste which is difficult to describe directly. 

Owasco Lake was 'my' lake or 'the' lake for me as a child.  I went there many summer afternoons with my mother. I swam in it during all my childhood years.  I do not recall it having water quality problems until many decades later.   I find it difficult to accept the idea that migratory birds which have been coming and going for thousands of years have all at once become an identifiable cause of the problem. Owasco Lake has responded to human efforts and improvement has been obtained, but efforts have not ceased as eliminating and monitoring contaminants is a necessary safeguard to human health and well being. 

Nationwide the integrity of the water supply is imperiled with many threats.  Nitrate pollution is only one of the problems to be solved in maintaining water quality.

Nitrate pollution of the water supply represents an approaching calamity facing multiple water supplies in diverse parts of the country. At the link is an overview of the reason for decreasing nitrate pollution to levels considered as acceptable for human use. I'm not sure who produces the blog, but the information seems to conform to reality.  

The effects on those drinking water polluted with high levels of nitrates can be read here.  From the previous link, produced by the State of Colorado, the first warning with nitrate laced water is not to allow infants to drink it including in formula preparations. In the baby a chemical change occurs which is linked to 'blue baby syndrome'.  This occurs because of a failure to produce enough oxygen in the blood.  As a result the skin will turn blue.  If caught early enough it is easily treatable.  If not the results can be horrible, including brain damage and death. It is not something most parents wish for their children.

My personal feeling is that the problems we have with the quality of water are spiritual in their origin.  As a race ( human race) and culture (dominant culture) we have abandoned the spiritual element of life in our approach to constructing the future. Click here to see an industry promotion for natural gas.  It shows how the mind of man has designed it's relationship with the earth.

We have in a sense emancipated ourselves from the spiritual dimension of life by being infatuated with our own ingenuity. In a sense this culture worships the works of its hands and in doing so reveals it's spiritual apostasy. 

How we define ourselves is a major contributing factor to the future we make for ourselves. It should be apparent we did not come into the world at birth.  In fact we came out of the world at birth. There never was a time this was not true, however that is not often the way we think about it. The philosopher and theologian Alan Watts has some thoughts regarding human nature which are appropriate.  Click here for a short YouTube presentation by Alan Watts.

By nature we are spiritually and dynamically connected to the biosphere of earth. To imagine our existence apart from reliance on the earth as a life sustaining system of relationships is not possible except in science fantasy. 

However the way our culture has taken upon itself to besmirch the face of the earth with its technology shows the extent of  the departure from the spiritual which the 'race' and 'culture' have taken.

There are many explanations as to why the biosphere of earth is suffering and finding it difficult to regenerate itself.  It is not a failure on the part of Mother Earth.  We have made messes faster than she can clean up after us and we need to stop doing it.  (the preceding hyperlink is to an educational video produced as part of class material for the University of North Carolina) 

"Take Care of The Water"

The post card below is available at Art From Another Dimension at  Click on the image and you're on your way.

I have an entire department devoted to environmental art click to visit.

Take Care Of The Water 
Take Care Of The Water by Hermenutic Check out Nature Postcards online at zazzle

article David H. Roche

a Clear Running Water state of mind

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.