Tuesday, July 6, 2010

An interesting day

In another being I might have called it a bad day but my current being does not allow for bad days so I shall have to call it an interesting day.  (Has my life become no more than a series of euphemisms?)  After a rather silly night out with Sam in Finicounda I woke up very late.  For me, late waking is always good for an interesting start to a day, consequently I had to ease my rules of being and hurry, something I try to avoid, to the garage where Yanni was to fit a new drive shaft to my aging machine.  "How long", I asked, "Twenty minutes", he answered,  At once the vehicle was sent up on a jack and Yanni proceeded to fit the part, only to find that its bolt holes did not quite match those on my machine, they would have to be doctored, could I return tomorrow?  Back at home Sam helped me to re-establish my summer kitchen/dining room under the shade of the large and spreading crown of an old Carob tree; a natural parasol.  An important feature of the outdoor kitchen has, traditionally, been a supply of running water into a sink.   From a well about half a kilometre away I syphon my water into into a 1,000 litre reservoir tank in the shade of the wood, from where gravity feeds it to the sink.  But the tank had run dry.  Why?  At the well head it took little detective work to discover why; a second pipe, several times the diameter of my pipe had been introduced into the well.  The well end of the pipe was not, at the time, in the water, the other end snaked through the olive tress that surround the well.  It was all to easy for me to picture the monster pick-up truck bearing the monster petrol-driven pump that connected to this huge new pipe and furthermore to picture my syphon drawing its last drops as, in a very short time, the pump emptied the well.
This brutal raping of the well is symptomatic of a 'want it all, want it now' society.  Hereabouts, olive trees have flourished to produce adequate crops of olives for centuries, millennia even, but now the unsubstantiated word is out that
if the trees  bearing them are watered, their olives will produce more oil.  Even if this myth of greater produce were to be substantiated, draining a well at regular intervals by brute force is a wonderful example of the shortsighted folly of taking more for less.  Wells and springs are delicate and, in a way, alive.  The sources of their continual replenishment are something of a mystery.  Not far from here, directly behind and below the level of a beach, a spring issues sparkling-clear sweet cool water which, it is said, originates under the Taygetos mountains some thirty kilometres or more away.  If this is true, to reach the spring fresh water must travel through subterranean passages deep below the Messinian Gulf.  Draining a well or pumping from a spring to increase its flow can cause the arteries that feed it to dry up until the well becomes no more than a dry hole.  This, of course, does not concern the unthinking; they will simply dig another well or sink a borehole deep into the earth in search of more water to pointlessly squander.  Until, of course, until........!  It is a sobering thought that while we can imagine some  kind of a life without oil, one that for our descendants will be real  rather than imagined, a life without water is totally unthinkable, indeed, without water life would cease to exist.

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