If We Went to the Water?

I mean, instead of bringing it to town? What if every house, or community, had to care for water.

Big Bar Wetland

Currently, water is removed from almost all its streams and wetlands in the Okanagan and stored behind high country dams, flows into human settlements through pipes, out through faucets, down drains, through cleaning plants, and out into Okanagan Lake, separated from the land and invisible to our communities except when it is visible through irrigation. What if instead of treating it as a resource, we had to go to it, and care for it in its natural environment, with its whole ecosystem?

Big Bar Lake Bugs

What if by going to the water, and caring for its natural storage ecosystem, where it is stored in life, not as a primal commodity from a non-human Eden (largely an image of ignorance) we became a water people, instead of a people believing that water has a place in our social lives as a commodity, rather than a being?

Big Bar Lake Aquatic Forest

Would everything burn then? How could it. Water doesn’t burn. Isn’t it time to accept that we live here and that continuing settler dreams only creates more fire? Isn’t it time that we said, “We don’t want to be fire anymore!”? We’ve removed so much water from even the driest of land, the Big Bar Eskers, that, without a crust of lichen, blue-green algae and water, the slightest rain washes it away? Unsocialized water washes land away, just as much as unsocialized fire does.

There is a connection. It’s time to stop burning. There’s no need for it. We live here now.

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