Water: The New Oil?

[Fresh Pond, Cambridge, MA]
Sunday afternoon as my Loved One napped, I took a delicious post-snowstorm walk around Fresh Pond. (Loved One’s long term care facility sits on the Fresh Pond Reservation, 162 acres of open space and nature trails protecting the 155 acre, fenced-in, Fresh Pond Reservoir, the City of Cambridge’s water supply.)

Until Sunday, my relationship with Fresh Pond had been mixed: YesI’d always relished joining the parade of dog walkers and bicyclists and strolling couples and joggers circling the pond. (It’s about a 2 mile walk). In fact, walking around Fresh Pond on New Year’s Day has become a hallowed tradition in my life, a contemplative (and usually freezing) way to begin a new year. Yet, inevitably, as a Somerville resident, I have also resented that in order to enjoy this urban treasure, I have to drive to Cambridge! Where, as a non-resident. I might easily get a parking ticket.

No more. My car now neatly parked in Loved One’s facility’s parking lot, Fresh Pond is mine!

So, on Sunday, instead of muttering “Why can’t Somerville have acres and acres of unobstructed space—maybe beside the Mystic River? Nature trails and woods and community gardens as far as the eye can see? Huh? Huh?”* or stressing about a possible parking ticket, I was able to appreciate where I actually was. To be present. To grok.**

So, of course, walking past Cambridge’s water supply, I thought of Flint, Michigan. And how black lives didn’t matter when it came to making viable, decent decisions regarding that struggling city’s water supply. How inexpressively outrageous! And how, more and more, we’re seeing water as A Thing. A commodity as precious as oil. (and, like oil, a liquid to spill blood over.)

So as I walked listening to the pond’s gentle lap lap with newfound gratitude, I was also sobered by a water-scarce future suddenly more clear and more fraught than it’s ever been.

“Is Clean Water The New Oil? “What am I called to do?


*So many things to love about my community but its long-term commitment to open space is not one of one.

** A verb meaning to really, really get it and used in that 60s classic, Stranger in a Strange Land—in which for the protagonist, a human raised on Mars, “sharing water” was a Huge Deal.

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Hi, there, Patricia, my so, so very dearly special and dearly precious sister and friend who you are For Always so, so very much!!!!!!! Finally, I am able to so very joyfully respond to this beautiful blog post article, sister, with my very heartfelt, detailed, and thorough comment!!!!!!!! Sister, I have such great news!!!!!!! I am still feeling a little sick and a little piqued but I am getting better and better every day, so what I did yesterday for the Iowa Caucuses even though I had a Monster Monday yesterday with a lot of errands and an appointment, I was ABSOLUTELY DETERMINED to go to the Iowa Caucus to support our wondrously wonderful Hillary and for us to have our way long overdue our first woman President!!!!!! Sister, I supported our Hillary eight years ago against Barack Obama because for this black woman having a woman President and with how special and great our Hillary is for sure is way more important than having a black man for President, sisterfriend!!!!!!! Wow, Patricia, wow!!!!!! With as slight of a victory our Hillary had in Iowa I am so, so very glad that I went to my Iowa Caucus to show her my very loyal and ardent support even though I was still not feeling well and still not feeling 100%!!!!!!! Wow, sister, it was very, very crowded at my Iowa Caucus and things were very chaotic, my so very dearest friend!!!!!! The whole process was very exciting, exhilarating, and thrilling, sister!!!!! I am just so very proud to be an American and to be a part of our wonderful American process and our very democracy, sisterfriend!!!!!! I so, so very much love our so, so very precious, special, and beloved country, Patricia, and I am very, very proud, honored, and blessed to be an American, sister!!!!!! I am so very glad that I showed up and had our Hillary’s back, giving her my very, very wholehearted support!!!!!!! Yay for our Hillary!!!!!! Yay yay yay and yay, Patricia, for our ABSOLUTELY AWESOME Hillary!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!! Even though I was so exhausted by the time I got back home I followed the news into the wee hours of the morning to see if our Hillary won with such a tiny margin there was in the percentages but I accidentally fell asleep because I was just that tired and exhausted and fell asleep with my TV on(I had CNN on my TV), and when I awakened I found out that our Hillary just barely won!!!!!!! Wow, this is just too close for comfort, sister, such a tiny window of victory here but yay, yay, yay, and yay for our Hillary, sister!!!!!!!!

    Sister, I so, so very much love and like your very, very beautiful blog post article here!!!!!! I so, so very much love and like the great link which you very graciously and generously provided to this marvelous article of yours, Patricia. Water is very, very much indeed the new oil, sisterfriend!!!!!!! Being an indigent person on a low, fixed income with my disability benefits being a disabled woman with multiple physical disabilities and even other disabilities, I can’t afford to always buy bottled water, sister. It seems like having water has gone from being a natural right for us as a people to being a privilege only those who can afford to buy water and who also live in a better area where they can access safely good, clean, safe water, sisterfriend. I just so, so very much love, like, and cherish your superbly super story about being able to park into the parking lot at your Loved One’s long-term care facility, and being able to enjoy the very beautiful and lovely Fresh Pond in Cambridge since you are actually right there in Cambridge to visit your so, so very dearest and darling Loved One, sister! What a sheer joy and such a blessing this must be for you, and I like how you joyfully walk along Fresh Pond as well every year on New Year’s Day! Sister, I know what you mean by how you are offended by the City of Cambridge’s excluding policies on this! I remember when I was still in Ohio before I relocated to Iowa City, Iowa that in 1989 I took the city bus to Bay Village, Ohio. At least back then Bay Village was an affluent suburb with virtually all white inhabitants of Cleveland and I knew that their beach on Lake Erie would be a lot nicer and cleaner than a lot of the other beaches along Lake Erie. Well, from what I can remember, I deliberately walked through a park there that had a sign saying that it was against the law for anyone who was not a resident of Bay Village to walk through the park or was it to walk along that particular sidewalk-I can’t remember for certain, sister!!!!!! I was just so absolutely offended and I several times deliberately broke the law and walked through that Bay Village, Ohio park even though I wasn’t a resident of Bay Village!!!!!!! Wow, I could tell that people in the neighborhood were for sure watching me do so, sisterfriend!!!!!! Sister, I sure know what you mean by how you are offended by Cambridge’s excluding policies for non-residents just like how I was offended by Bay Village, Ohio’s excluding policies back in 1989, my so, so very dear friend Patricia!!!!!! I can for sure relate, sister!!!!!!!!!! I so, so very much love, like, and cherish how you so with such masterful composition in the written word describe how you were to be present, to grok!!!!!! What so very beautiful and lovely words here, sister!!!!!!!

    I appreciate with all of my very heart, and my very heart, mind, soul, and spirit how you so, so very lovingly in such a sensitively caring and heartfelt manner worry for and care for the poor black residents of Flint, Michigan, and the other residents there over their poisoned water supply reeking with lead my so, so very dearest and darling white friend and sister, Patricia!!!!!!! YOU, sister, and this caring by you in this dire situation just mean so, so very much to me and just means the world to me!!!!!!!! I so, so very much appreciate YOU, Patricia, and your very powerful and productively proactive anti-racism, my so, so very precious and special white sister who you are For Always so, so very much!!!!!!!! I so love how you had such a sense of gratitude as you walked along Fresh Pond enjoying the gentle lap lap of the water!!!!!!! Also, I really loved and liked the fantastic link you very graciously and generously shared about Stranger in a Strange Land, sister!!!!!!! Thank-you so sisterfriend Patricia!!!!!!!!! This tale does seem to hold like in that story the very real possibility that we as a people on our Earth are heading the same way in terms of water being a very rare and coveted resource only for the privileged who can afford the water and live in access to good, clean, safe, and healthy water, sister!!!!!! Your question, “What am I called to do?,” is just so brilliant here, sister!!!!!!! Patricia, I have to really percolate hard on my answer to this very relevant and powerful question, sister!!!!!!!!

    Patricia, YOU are my very joy and blessings, and your stupendous blog post articles and other super writings give me such sheer and greatly immense joys, blessings, and pleasure!!!!!! Please have a totally terrific and a very thrilling Tuesday, and wondrously wonderful rest of your week and weekend, and may all of your days be so, so very especially blessed, Patricia!!!!!! Yay for you Patricia!!!!!!!! Yay yay yay and yay!!!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my so, so very dearly special white sister who you are For Always so, so very much, Patricia, with Peace and Love To You For Always, my so, so very For Always dearly precious sisterfriend, and with such Blessings and Even More Blessings To You For Always, my so, so very dear friend,

    Your sisterfriend Christian lesbian black woman For Always in the spirit and solidarity, Sherry Gordon

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