Fallow Fellow Fumblings

From the relative comfort of my rocking chair in Boulder, smut novels and bon bons nestling with Medusa thoughts writhing about colorful balls of inertia in the bottom of my knitting basket, it is easy for me to flip the remote to the Self Pity Channel: “I wish I were on the ground doing good!”


On Golden Pond (Kellie Maree Clark Photography)

On Golden Pond
(Kellie Maree Clark Photography)

I’m not battling taxi drivers, mosquitos and food poisoning. I am not bearing the haunted glances of parched children as flats of water bottles march by in perfect formation. I am not being immersed in the futility of promising initiatives that are smothered by corrupt politicians. I am not wending my way through imposing barriers while children are being rousted from their homes and neighborhoods on the pretext of crimes they did not commit.

I am luxuriating in hegemonic bliss as I await my opportunity to travel to another country to explore, learn about and tell the stories of others impacted by conflicts over one of the World’s arguably most precious resources: WATER! Yet I am gratified to learn that I am not totally divorced from the on-the-ground experiences of my fellow fellows. In fact, I have been repeatedly head butted by Phoenix’s friend, Serendipity, who found her way from Ethiopia to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Byers' Peak, Fraser River Valley, Colorado

Byers’ Peak, Fraser River Valley, Colorado

I have become a veritable witching rod for all things water related. People off the streets run up to engage in random conversations about water quality. Folks in coffee shops bury me in literature about the various nefarious wanderings of water development through American history. Hay farmers crop up to share water adjudication and allocation woes.   Human rights activists stop to commiserate about the loss of already limited arable reservation land to dam (damn?) projects.

All of this serendipitous water schooling (I swear, I have done and said nothing to invite this inadvertent education!) keeps pushing an uncomfortable thought to the forefront: Is my penchant for seeking out problems in other lands, a simple case of development myopia? I have been born, raised and educated in a cauldron of water issues, yet, up to this moment, have refused to see it. Am I the proverbial frog who has acclimated so steadily to this environment of conflict that she failed to note the transition from tepid to scalding?

Harrowing thoughts for a barren mind.

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