Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Water Miles

After bidding goodbye to the two block diet bees in my back yard in Vancouver this morning, I headed to the airport to catch a flight to Edmonton. The last thing I packed was my water bottle as an after-thought. Oh yeah, since the theme is "water" I'd better bring my own bottle. The guys that just went down for trying to smuggle liquid explosives onto jets have just gone down for their plot. As a result of that nefarious attempt at death and destruction we may bring our own water bottles to the airport, but not our own water, liquids or gels. Security seems to get a bit looser every time I go to the airport ever since 9/11 crackdown which occurred eight years ago, but water is verboten. I accidently brought my gardening scissors with the flowery handles and they were politely confiscated.

I brought my bottle, and some green beans and tomatoes from my garden as well as some herbs for tea. (All came out to be examined while the search for the shears went through.) As someone who worries about food miles, I also put thought into where my water comes from. The tap water in Vancouver is some of the best in the world, so I have no problem feeling secure about drinking it. When we do buy sparkling water for a treat, we try to buy local. So when I bought my magazine inside the gate past security, I bought a bottle from Whistler. I should have just filled my bottle from a water tap or a fountain, but I got all paranoid about germs. Sigh. We do really have to break the plastic bottle habit.

I grew up in the prairie dry belt, aka Palliser's Triangle, so I was taught how precious water is and that it should never be wasted. We actually pumped water from a well in the middle of town, like in some old-fashioned Can lit story and it was cold and pure and sweet. When I see people washing the sidewalk with garden hoses in Vancouver, it makes my physically ill. "What's the problem?" people say, "It's a rainforest climate." Well, there are plenty of problems with water in Canada right now and plenty more looming in our future and the future of the globe. I'm looking forward to seeing how the artists in this festival explore the personal and political sides of water in physical terms.

I can't wait to gossip around the water cooler and watch Jason Fielding portage in the heat of the midday sun tomorrow at the southwest edge of the Hotel MacDonald.

Conserve water. Keep hydrated. Stay tuned to the water channel.

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