Sunday, May 11, 2014

Water from the rocks..... Numbers 20:11

"Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff and water gushed out and the community and their livestock drank."   Growing up on the desert in California did not prepare me for water gushing from rocks.

It still shocks and delights me to see a sight like this one on my way to school after a healthy rain last week.  I couldn't resist pulling over to get the picture with my smart phone!  I remembered a friend in New Mexico relating the story of visiting family in Tennessee as a child and having her Dad stop so they could get a taste of cold water projecting from the rocks by the roadside like a water fountain.  I wondered if this water would be safe to drink today. 

Tiny amounts of pharmaceuticals -- including antibiotics, hormones, mood stabilizers, and other drugs -- are in our drinking water supplies.  In an investigation by the Associated Press, drinking water supplies in 24 major metropolitan areas were found to include drugs.  Disturbingly I searched for the EPA information on our water system in Metro.  "There are no reports for your area"  the search screen established!  I suppose in a time when we continually cut funding to our government with the idea that "anything the government touches is messed up."  We cannot expect there to be enough people to do the testing and enforcement that the EPA is supposed to do.  Disturbing!  

But there are watchdog organizations that report.  One that I regularly contribute to is te NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)    There is much interesting information here -- but the bottom line is that in order to have safe water we must filter so much more than simple bacteria.  And the truth is that to have safe water for everyone we must stop polluting the water with so many kinds of waste, fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.  In the end Nature provides the best filtration if given the opportunity and if we do not overload the system!  

As I was thinking about this I walked past the garden on my way to put my compost into the compost pile, I found one of the painters washing his paint bucket into the storm drain in the middle of the garden area.  I have been thrilled to see these excellent painters take care and pride as they painted our halls, but instinct kicked in, "What are you doing?"  I asked in a tone of voice that says I am your mother and you are in so much trouble.  The man looked at me as though I was a bit daft, after all it was easy to see what he was doing. 

"I'm washing out my paint bucket."   I caught my breath.  "When you wash things into a storm drain you might as well drink it you know --- it is gong to end up in your drinking glass." 

"But it is environmentally friendly paint,"  he spoke somewhat defensively.

I tried to explain that low VOC paint only referred to volatile dangerous vapors produced by the chemicals.  Paint is not meant for human consumption. How do we educate people to the fact that our actions impact our health and well-being.  I guess the answer is one person/child at a time.

I ended my day with the words of Jeremiah 4:23-36, "....I have seen, and here the garden-land is now the wasteland, and all its cities are pulled down, because of God and his hot anger."  Amen