by Julia Barcello, staff member at Nazareth Farm, Inc.
My siblings are easily one of the most important parts of my life and being an older sister is a facet of my identity I always fully embrace. Though, for me, being a sister is something that extends beyond my three biological siblings. It encompasses friends who have become family and also the far broader reach to my brothers and sisters around the world, who I have never met, but am called to love. This includes our sister, Mother Earth, who we all have a call to love and a responsibility to care for, nurture, and protect – for the well being of Earth herself, but also for the good of all our brothers and sisters who call this planet home. And as I strive to be the best steward and sister possible, an area of emphasis in my life is being conscious of my water consumption.
I grew up in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, and from a very early age you learn that water is life, and it is a privilege to have unfailingly access to water, especially fresh drinking water. Something that should be a basic and universal human right as a part of our human dignity, it is sadly not invariably the case. And water does not only provide life for humans, but supports all life on our Earth. However, it is solely us humans who have polluted the waters and impacted the life they sustain. So in my continual effort to be a good role model to my younger siblings and now also to teach all the volunteers who come through Nazareth Farm, I try to convey how we can all always love better. Conserving the water we use is one way to more fully love both our sister, Mother Earth, and all of our brothers and sisters.
Now love is hard work, it is a gift of self. But our Earth gives us so much, therefore how can we improve at living our role in the relationship of reciprocity with her? We can begin to do this in a variety of small ways. Starting with making little changes and eventually keep doing more as you continue to challenge yourself. At Nazareth Farm we conserve water in an assortment of ways – limiting our showers, filling sinks to wash dishes instead of letting the water run, only using necessary water to brush our teeth or wash our face, re-wearing clothes that aren’t dirty so laundry is being done less, being conscious of the food and products we are buying because there is a vast amount of water that goes into the growing of certain food and the processing/production of things – but there is always room for growth. Water flows through every strand of the web of life – to quench our thirst, as a home for creatures large and microscopic, to grow our food, to shape our planet, and so much more.
Water is a precious gift.
How can you live out love so this gift and all the life it holds does not fade?