Before leaving for work, I check my mobile for today's events. I know there will be a lot today -- it's World Water Day. The calendar tells me that there will be parades and contests
, a virtual celebration
in an online world, swimming
and running marathons, even an event symbolizing the last drop of water visiting cities around the world
. Downtown, there's a community mural
being painted -- I definitely want to drop in on that -- and of course the Water Mythology Celebration
! My costume is all set: Nammu
, of course, representing the sea, and the Sumerian goddess who worked with Ninmah to create humans. All of these celebrations together remind us how precious water is, how many people did not have access to fresh, clean water ten years ago, and how the world joined together to change all that.
But before I dive into these water celebrations, there is a small ritual to be performed at home. My son is home from college this week, and other members of my extended family are here also. We gather in the kitchen in the morning just before we all head off on our separate days. The youngest person present -- my son, today -- takes a white cup
and fills it with water from the sink. The miracle of this essential mineral, so clean and so close at hand, amazes me all over again as he turns to face the rest of us.
"In memory of what was, that it may never happen again," he says, and sips from the glass. He pa**** it to his aunt who is standing next to him. She smiles as she takes it, makes the same wish, and sips. She pa**** it to the next family member, and so on until it is in my hands.
"In memory of what was, that it may never happen again," I say, and take my sip. All over the world, others are doing the same, sharing this most precious of resources with those most precious to them.
All over the world, there is no one who is unable to participate in this simple act.
All over the world, everyone now has access to the water they need to live, to grow food, to care for their livestock, to care for themselves.
All over the world.