Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth and Water

It's Earth Day, and I'm thinking about water. More specifically, about a presentation I went to last week at the law school where I work in which students discussed the human right to water. This is new terminology for me. A human need, yes. A human right, well...

But I'll let that pass for the moment as I think of my far-flung child, my oldest, living in a place where water — and lack of it — is very much on people's minds.

The other night she called, and it was a bad connection. "I think it's because of the rain," she said, voice jubilant. The rain, which was finally falling there on the edge of the Sahel. The rain that hadn't fallen in months as the temperature soared. "It's good for the plants," she said, understated as usual since it's also good for people, whose wells won't go dry, who no longer have to choose between cooking or washing their clothes, who now have enough to drink.

One day a year we honor the planet, with all its strengths and all its frailties. But this is hard to do in a land of plenty. Where resources are scarce, every day is Earth Day.


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