August is Water Quality Month. So much could be said in regards to water. It’s primacy alone in the fabric of life gives it center stage, and the need for it to be unspoiled by the ravages of mans misaligned behavior seems like it should be obvious. But alas mankind continues to literally destroy the earth with their behaviors, and that can be evidenced in the plethora of water quality related problems happening worldwide. In some small microcosms where life is still in a more raw state, certain sensitivities can be cultivated by those who are willing to listen -but one must be willing. Ah yes, therein lies the rub. Will we listen? Some may. Culture is a powerful force however. Not sure how many are willing to detach from it entirely even if they hear the melodies of higher paths than the ones societies tend to choose. If someone upstream from us decides to do something very toxic to life and it enters the watershed we share, it will indeed cause a reaping on our end too, and all the way down until it enters the ocean upon which that reaping will be spread out upon the sea life and maybe even end back up at the local restaurant in the day’s fresh catch for the whole community to share and in a sense, bear the burden of the poisoning. It’s real. It’s happening all around us every day. For the most part we are like the frogs in the beaker unaware that the water is almost come to a boil and we’re going to be the soup.
Wendell Berry put it eloquently when he encapsulated the timeless truth in a watershed context: “Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.”