In my previous Blog, I tell how my family and I found the perfect place to camp in the Warner Mountains of California. It was an old-time site ready and waiting for us. We settled in and felt right at home for ten days. We hiked up each side of the canyon, looked for nesting birds, waded the creek, caught fish, and vainly tried to catch sight of the beaver. We watched Oregon juncos raise a brood of young in the nest along the road bank. Four scrawny, featherless bundles of life with open beaks were fed by dutiful parents.
We didn’t conquer this wilderness. We moved into one corner of it and set up housekeeping. No drama here, instead we watched a quiet unfolding of the daily rhythms of life, which we shared. This biologically successful plant community harbored the plants and animals needed to make it so. Fishermen, hunters, and range cattle passed through in season, but most of the year, this community thrived on its own. We sensed a harmony of life; a network of relationships where every life form contributed to the whole. This collaborative effort brought a sense of security, of rightness, and of peace, and at the heart of it was the water source.
We stayed because of the spring. We could drink the water; it was that pure. Animals were drawn to the area because of the steady water supply of creek and spring. We did not allow the children to play in the spring; no animals muddied the waters. Even though the trickle of water was steady, the pond never filled up, but seeped downhill. The pool surface reflected the colors of mossy rocks, flowers and grasses, blue sky, and occasional visitors who were drawn to the source of life in this peaceful place.
Would that water supplies everywhere could be as pristine, with no one to muddy or to foul the waters. Would that we could have the vision to restore the irreplaceable pure water sources that greeted first comers. Would that we could relearn the common sense required to keep water sources clean, and in so doing, provide pure water to everyone and all of nature.