I am here...although I don't know if I have arrived. Some days I feel stranded in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, other days I marvel at the paradise that I call my life. Welcome to my ramblings, reflections, and obsessive- compulsive tendencies

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

...about water

this little island of mine is surrounded by the most beautiful water i have ever seen.  the various colours of blue leave me in awe each and every day.  there are no rivers running into the ocean, there is little to no pollution and the bottom of the ocean is lovely, soft, pinkish-white sand ensuring that the water is clear, clean and stunning.  i have views of the ocean from most windows in my home.  it really is breathtaking.  i think i have made my point.  jealous, yet?
here's the flip side...in the true spirit of island life, we are staring at all of this water while we are fretting that we don't have any that we can use.  having spent the majority of my life living near the great lakes, an unbelievable source of fresh water in the world, i came to take for granted that i could have clean, fresh water to use in abundance.  i turned on the tap and magically, there it was.   would it run out...of course not.  i could feel all self-righteous that i would turn off the tap when i brushed my teeth because "i love the earth", but truly, i was blissfully unaware of what it was like to really worry about my water consumption.   this past month has significantly altered my perspective. 

when you arrive in bermuda you notice that all of the houses are painted in what i refer to as "ice cream colours".  we live in an orange house, our neighbours house is green, there is a purple house down the road and numerous yellow and pink houses to be seen as well.  in fact, people refer to the colour of their house when they give directions.  it is far more important than the name of your street. regardless of the colour of your house, though, everyone has a white roof.  it looks a bit like stair steps and is specially treated and cleaned often.  this is because our roof is the first step in the collection of the water that we use in our home.  when it rains the water runs down the roof and into pipes that lead to the water tank that is under our house.  our tank is near empty at the moment, for the second time since we have been here.  we have had de-salinated water delivered twice, but they can't keep up with the demand.  everyone here is having the same issues.

apparently this is not the norm.  it is said to the be worst drought in 50 years.  while we are loving day after day of beach weather, we are also hoping that the rain comes soon.  the whole island is struggling with the water shortage.  the boys have baths together in very shallow water.  i turn off the water in the shower while i lather my shampoo.  we brush our teeth out using a cup and run the dishwasher and laundry only when they are full to overflowing.  we follow the old saying, "if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down."  there are no thoughts of washing the car or watering the grass and letting our children run through the sprinkler to cool off is beyond out of the question.

so, while i am waiting for rain,  it makes me think of other people in the world who really do have issues with water.  my problems are very small...tiny...miniscule.   i do not walk to the next town, pump water and carry it back to my family.  i walk to the store beside my house, use my bank card and buy a case of water for my family to drink.  i have taps that work, toilets that flush and, as sad as it is to acknowledge it, a wasteful attitude too much of the time.  it isn't like these thoughts haven't crossed my mind in the past, but they have been brought to the forefront of my mind.  i can do more.  i teach children that can be more aware.   i am raising children that can make a real change.  my perspective is changing.  better late than never.  


Lisa said...

1. Yes, I am jealous of the crystal blue waters
2. You are such a diligent mummy for being aware of these issues/shortages and for sharing these with your boys. :)
3. When am I coming down to visit you????

rheanne said...

You should come! It is one of the most beautiful places. If any little family deserves a break, it is yours. You have an open invitation.

Loukia said...

Wow, seriously, Bermuda must be gorgeous... the water looks heavenly! I've taken my boys to Florida a couple of times and to Bahamas.. I think next up will be Bermuda for sure! Plus, it's not too far from where we live in Canada!

rheanne said...

It is only a two hour, direct flight from Toronto!

Connie Weiss said...

So beautiful! We should all be taking these steps to conserve water....you never know when it will be gone!