Monday, May 22, 2006

Sweetwater

In Moon, Rose and her friends drink water from the stream. It is unlikely there is a stream anywhere in this country from which one can safely drink these days. This is a great sadness. My children have never known the delicious taste of water from a mountain stream. Very likely, my grandchildren will miss that incredible pleasure as well.

But I remember. Squatting on the firm, hard-packed river bank, I dipped my hands into icy water that sparked with sunlight and the glint of micas and quartz gravels not a foot under the surface. I yelped at the cold, even in the middle of summer, hands shaking almost immediately as I lifted them to my face, sucking the water between my teeth.

My lips felt instantly numb, but I grabbed handful after handful of pure liquid. It tasted so good. I drank enough to make my belly ache and my teeth chatter with the cold.

That was Oregon in July, half a century gone.

2 comments:

  1. Ah...my beautiful Oregon water. I wonder now if I would dare drink from the stream. I am sad for all we have lost. May God help us to return to stewarship...may we be forgiven for our self-absorbed ways.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, forgiven, and somehow forgive ourselves. For we who have soiled our nest may well perish never to rise again, but the Earth, which measures time in billions of years, will continue to foment life in myriad forms.

    ReplyDelete

Join the dialogue. Post a comment here. Please keep it clean for all audiences. Spam will be deleted immediately.