Helen Keller (an American writer and social reformer) was blind and deaf from the age of 19 months and in "The Story of my Life" (1902) she writes in chapter 22: "The mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that w-a-t-e-r meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, joy, set it free!"
I think she specifically chose water to explain the awakening of senses she suddenly experienced - because water is life giving. Without water we are truly lost - about to die. Let me explain why I feel I can write with authority on this particular subject, today.
Firstly - I have been away for a while - hence the silence on my blog!. We have been to Mozambique (What a wonderful country - more about that in later postings.). The attached picture was taken near Sodwana Bay in South Africa in the Umkuzi Nature Reserve. I thought it an extremely relevant picture for what I am about to share with you.
The modern human have become used to many things for instance the steady supply of electricity and water. And even if you will not admit it publicly - sit for a while and be honest about it - we all waste this very precious resources. May hap not intentionally but certainly by chance.
Since Monday we have not had any municipal water supplied to our property (this is also the case for various other rural areas as well as some suburbs in the city itself and this is not the first time his happens. This is about the 10th time in the past two years that we have this problem.). Can you imagine the frustration of opening a tap ... AND NOTHING! No water to bath or shower, drink or cook with. Phone the municipality and one of two things happen. They do not answer their telephones or they kindly (with a detached voice) explain that the reservoir has run dry. Their answer to our question "Why?" - "Human error". Translated it means incompetence.
Do not misunderstand me - I am NOT complaining since we are some of the fortunate "waterless" people who have two working boreholes on our property and we have also installed a water tank which we always keep full. So luckily we have access to water - although not from the taps in our house - we carry it in from outside. But there are people living in townhouses in the city who does not have access to any water whatsoever.
Luckily we have the tank - because the boreholes will not work if we do not have electricity - which we many time we do not have. In short we made sure that we are self sufficient by using gas as far as possible and will in the near future install a generator. Then we shall obviously not have the need for any of the municipal services - which brings me to the question - why do we have to pay the new, high rates on rural properties - if we receive no services whatsoever?
Which brings me back to the things the modern human have grown used to and are lost without. My husband and me regularly travel to some or other far-off secluded destinations. And all these destinations (or most of them - and many of them in South Africa) does not have access to running water. The woman and children carry their water miles and miles - a task that has to be repeated each and every single day - because water is life giving! Puts everything into perspective, does it not?
And here we are - with running water in our homes - just open a tap and quickly wash your hands, keep the tap open while brushing your teeth, filling the sink with more water than we need to wash three plates and two forks - and I can go on and on. Since I am now (and have been for two weeks) responsible for my own water I notice these small things. I can see exactly how much water is gone from the tank after I have showered for instance and I just realise something - we have become so comfortable with the idea that somebody else will supply water and electricity that we do not use these very valuable and limited resources with care.
And that my Dear Reader is my piece for the day - you must excuse me but I must go and fill buckets of water to pour into the toilets to be able to use them - but I hope that wherever you are you have running water and electricity - and really appreciate the fact that you have it. Have a nice day.