Sunday, November 29, 2009

Carrying Water

Over the next few weeks, well-polished people will debate the state of our planet at the Copenhagen Summit. What climate change? Carbon offsets? Oil? Nuclear? Solar? What dance shall we do to fend off the truth and fool ourselves for yet another day or year or decade.

Meanwhile in eastern Africa, women carry water in containers strapped to their heads. It's important work. They walk to a place where they can find clean water and haul it back to their villages. These women know the value of a cup of clean water. The want of water hangs heavily on their necks and backs and in their hearts. It's etched into their foreheads by fiber straps. They feel its scarcity in hot winds that ravage their soil and weaken the cries of their children and animals.

These women should be at the table in Copenhagen; but they are too busy carrying water, too busy surviving. Copenhagen should go to them. Ease the straps from their backs. Dig wells with them. Carry water with them. Share the burden of a common survival -- you and I and the water-bearing women of this one earth.