Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Water Water Everywhere..."


I have often taken water for granted. I rarely think of it as being the basic necessity of life. I just assume it will be there when I turn on the tap, or drive down to the lake. I have been drawn to water for as long as I can remember. Being in, near, or around water has a calming influence on me. 

I have been thinking about water a lot these past few days. There is a critical shortage of water here in Jordan, and in other parts of the world (like in our own backyard). We have been asked to conserve water as best we can during our stay here. 

Kirk and I have discovered large plastic water drums on top of our apartment building. We haven't run out of water yet, but several of our friends have. We're not sure how it is monitored. If they fill those drums on a regular basis, or as they near empty, or if you're allotted a certain amount per person, or per apartment. (I'm finding there isn't a real exact protocol, at least we haven't figured it out yet.) 
I am trying to model Kirk’s near perfect example of water conservation.
The water never runs. There is a science here to saving water.  From the number of times you flush the toilet, to the way you do the dishes.  Tooth brushing, face washing, as well as mopping the floor take an extra measure of thought and creativity. 
Showering has been the hardest part of all for me. (I’m used to daily baths.) 
The water barely trickles out of the shower head, and one has to continually turn in circles to even try to stay warm (and wet). If you forgot to flip the switch for the water heater forty-five minutes earlier, then you get a cold shower regardless.  Kirk and tough people like him turn the shower completely off as they scrub down and wash their hair. I figure with my short hair, and how quickly I can spin, I make up for it in speed. (Actually, it's probably Kirk's water-saving prowess that have kept the shower going.)

The other problem I’m finding, as the weather becomes colder, is the bathroom fan. Every time you turn on the light, the fan comes on also. However, the fan is a big hole in the window, with a plastic propeller spinning faster than the water falls. And, it’s located exactly where the body has to stand to shower.  Today I stuck a bar of soap in the propeller to stop the breeze for just a minute.  If you can’t start out the day warm, can you ever get warm? That is my worry.

I look around as we travel the country here, and I don’t see grass. I haven’t seen any except for the artificial turf over at the soccer fields. There might be lawns behind some of the gated mansions, but I don’t really think so. There are trees and gardens and flowers. But I think they are of the water sparing type. Nevertheless, every weekend as darkness starts to fall, you can see families of all kinds pulling over to the side of the main road building fires. Right there on the dusty ground, they cook and they picnic. It’s a wonderful sight to me. Watching families gather around the warmth of the flames up and down the freeways. I'm learning that I don’t need a big fancy park, or the campground and the barbecue grill, or the pristine green lawn--as long as we have each other.  

We have had a great time these past few weeks, traveling to and hiking out to the point near Mt. Nebo and out to Umm Qeis to watch the sun set over the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee.

Galilee is probably my most favorite place of all.  Life-changing events have taken place for me on those shores.  It is something different every time. But always something. This time I had a view from a different perspective, on the opposite side of the sea, and much further away.  I stood far off on a rocky hillside and watched the valley as the day faded away and city lights lit up the night surrounding Galilee. The fading sun bouncing off the water was amazing. 

Twenty-two years ago I stood at the waters edge with three children under the age of five. Now Kirk and I watch from a distance and wonder how a lifetime has flashed before our eyes in an instant. Here we are, standing on one side of the world and our children and grandchildren on the other.  At times they seem so far away. But there is a peaceful feeling knowing that because of the things that took place on that sea, and in those cities, no matter how far apart we may be, we are eternally connected.

…”And this circle just goes on and on, as it crosses every boundary underneath God’s sun. 
And this circle touches everyone, joining me to you, and you to me.”   


  1. Yet another awesome post Mom. Love you

  2. This was a great post. Well said! Glad you are out here even though you have to be away from your sweet fam.

  3. I, too, love Galilee. As for showering, if you rinse one side while you scrub the other, I see no point in turning off the water. Nice post.

  4. We loved your post. You are a great writer! We love to read about your experiences and your thoughts! You are an awesome couple. I am glad we know and love you. Enjoy your time together.
    Thanks for sharing these pictures and thoughts.
    We send you our love from Hawaii!!