Author: Amy Ostwald
Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs; you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy. You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. Psalm 65: 8-10
Last week we got a City of Boulder notice on our front door handle — on Tuesday our water would be turned off for 6 hours while work was being done on the water main. Grumbling about the inconvenience, I made a plan to fill some containers of water the night before so I would be prepared. On Monday night, I began filling up a bucket that looked about the same size as a toilet tank so I’d be able to flush if needed. The faucet was on full blast, and I found myself surprised by how long it was taking to fill up the bucket. Wow, I thought to myself, there sure is a lot of water in a toilet tank! All that good, clean water for just one flush.
I suddenly recalled an experience I’d had as a young girl: I was washing dishes in the kitchen sink at my paternal grandmother’s house. (I’d never done this before — in my own home we had a dishwasher.) I had the faucet turned on in a steady stream so I could rinse each dish easily. I could feel my grandma looking over at me, and I wondered what I was doing wrong. In a few minutes she came over with a basin and showed me how to fill it with “rinse water,” she called it. I would use the same water to rinse all the dishes— that way I wouldn’t have to keep the faucet running and use all that water. I remember thinking at the time that my grandma sure was old fashioned — she was no longer on her old homestead, where she’d had to pump all her own water. Didn’t she realize that she could now have all the water she wanted?
Returning my attention to the present, the bucket almost full, I could now see clearly that my grandma carried with her a deeply ingrained awareness that water was precious. Sadly, in just two generations this consciousness had been lost. Our modern lifestyle distances me from the natural world and I easily become blind to it. I wonder what it would be like to start noticing water again as a life-sustaining resource, a gift from our Maker? Where might this lead me?
Awaken in me a sense of gratitude for water and the life it brings. When I turn on the faucet, may I be aware of this precious gift. May this gratitude shape the way I live and move on this earth. AMEN