She Brings Me Water, my husband says, is my Native American name. Years ago, at the beginning of our relationship, I brought water to our first “dates”- we ate lunch together in one of our cars in the parking lot at school. I bring glasses of water to him while he’s working outside, and keep bottles of water filled at the tap ready for trips to the store or to work. It would be easy for us to buy bottled water, but we don’t. We are fortunate to have a well, we filter the water as it comes into the house (it has a lot of iron in it) and it is good as it comes from the tap. It’s a little more work to refill empty glass bottles and then carry them around, but it is nothing compared to what others have to do around the world to acquire water. And in some places it’s nearly impossible to get decent water to drink. Why water says:
“In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year just walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely to make them sick.”
October 15th is Blog Action Day. From their website:
“Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking a global discussion and driving collective action. This year’s topic is water.”
I don’t know what it is like to have to walk miles to get my water. A few years ago, our well pump began failing and while it was being fixed, we had to get water from our neighbor’s hose. We would put gallon jugs in my little red wagon, pull it over there, fill them up, and then pull the wagon back over to our house. This went on for maybe four days. It is hard for me to imagine having to do this, or having to go to even greater lengths, every day, year after year, for all my life.
There have been times, during our growing season, when there is not enough rain for our garden, but our well has always been able to supply water for it. I do not know what it is like to lose crops through lack of water. I do not know what it is like to lose crops through drought that may be the only food available for my family to eat. Therefore I do not know what it is like to lose family members because they starved, or to be hungry myself because there was no water to grow my food. I do not know what it is like to be thirsty and for there to not be good water for me to drink. Or any water at all.
I do know that I take for granted my easy access to water. We have always tried to be mindful of our water usage, and not be wasteful, but I know that the amount of water I use every day would be shocking to many who don’t have the abundance I enjoy. There are many people around the world who do know what lack of water is like. I can’t bring them water, despite my Native American name, but I can bring my awareness, and maybe the awareness of others, to this lack. And I can be more grateful and more thankful to She Who Brings Us Water, our Mother Earth and Father Sky. Namaste.