Wisdom from the Waterfront 8/07

August 2007

water

Despite much ado about environmental carbon footprints, owning recreational property is becoming more and more commonplace. The waterfront variety commands a much heftier price tag, which needs little explanation. Not only do we want to be by the water, we also enjoy being on the water and in the water. And if you’re someone who is lucky enough to live near water, count your blessings now.

I must admit, while on recent vacation at a lovely lakefront cottage, I found I was happiest when I was in view of the water. The first strokes I paddled in the canoe provided the biggest bliss of all, that of being on the water.

Isn’t it true that no matter where people live in the world, if they want to rest or play, they head for water? Subconsciously, we must understand the healing effects.

It isn’t just the lake that caused reflection, but the drinking water. The lifeline of organisms is no small thing. And how we take it for granted. Our well water put an abrupt end to that.

There’s nothing like the obnoxious smell of sulfur to snap us into consciousness. Though safe to drink, we couldn’t bring ourselves to do so. Running the tap to wash dishes was quite enough, thank-you. Luckily we had back-up – imported city water. However, limited quantities dictated conservative use.

As the smell diminished with each passing day, I observed that our usage increased accordingly. I wondered why I let the water run when I brushed my teeth, when days earlier I managed the same process with less than a cup. Suddenly we were washing the dishes in a sink full instead of a couple inches. We no longer washed fruit and vegetables in a bowl. We spent more time in the shower. I wondered if this was really an improvement and how lucky we were to have choices.

The extremely hot temperatures we experienced at the lake necessitated drinking a great deal of water to stay hydrated, not withstanding an occasional cold beer. Given herbal tea is my usual beverage of choice because it warms me up, I was thrown into rediscovering the deliciousness of plain, cold water. I wondered why most of us didn’t catch on to drinking water until we started buying it in a bottle from the likes of Coca-Cola and Pepsi under the names of Dasani and Aquafina. Buying water seemed to make it fashionable to drink. I’d say we’re a crazy lot with warped values. Anyway, I’m just grateful that I have access to clean, clear, odorless water, when millions never do.

If winter makes us want to eat, summer makes us want to drink. This summer, try substituting some of the high calorie colas, fruit juices and cold beers for nice, cold water. Remember that alcohol is a diuretic, so for every beverage you consume, you need water to compensate. And if you’re working out, as I know you are, you’re perspiring. You need to compensate for that too.

One of the things I love about vacations is slowing down enough to pay attention to things I don’t normally think too much about – like water. Being by the water I learned that if you build a cottage, save the trees and you won’t need air conditioning. Secondly, don’t waste water. Drink it.

Cheers!