Water Closet for October 2, 2015
[pullquote]”Thank you Pope Francis for your encyclical Laudato Si and for your follow up visits and wise words.”[/pullquote]Francis flew over the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Caribbean to be with his fellow Americans. Some deep longing in many even non-Catholics seemed fulfilled during Pope Francis’ joyous visits that attracted so many. He came with messages over two thousand years old from Jesus about helping the poor. He also asked us to care for all animals, plants and their habitats, our Earthly environment. Whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, or atheist his messages were those we’d heard in one way or another since toddlers. Be kind, tolerant, fair, charitable, and don’t hurt others. In other words, live by the golden rule. Francis clothed in the white of his office, repeated these basic rules of society to dark-suited members of congress. Many of his listeners had tears in their eyes as they heard again the ancient lessons first given them by their mothers.
In the Water Closet the Pope’s arrival had us visiting our tattered National Geographic Atlas. We are connected to Francis by water, the life blood of our planet that flows in his veins as well as ours. Runoff from the Vatican City flows to the Tiber River; from there to the Mediterranean, then eventually on by Gibraltar to our Atlantic where it joins the Gulf Stream and circulates clockwise round to Cuba, a place the Pope wisely visited. There it moves on up into Chesapeake Bay and enters the lower Potomac River and then flows on to the Capitol where Francis spoke to our representatives. The world’s salt water also encircles Manhattan via the East, Harlem and Hudson rivers that flank Saint Patrick’s Cathedral where the Pope wore green as he led vesper prayers. At the United Nations he again pleaded for the world’s poor, the environment, and peace. Later in Madison Square Garden, best known for fist fights, there were strong but softly spoken words calling for the care of our “common home” and all its creatures. He spoke a couple days later in Philadelphia as water, some from across the ocean, flowed by in the Delaware River. In our Water Closet shack on a raft moored in hidden places on the Ipswich River we know that some of its water over time is shared with tidal water in the lower Tiber and the rivers of the Pope’s home Argentina. Thus we feel a connection with this leader who so wisely advocates for clean water, soil and air.
We’ve long known his lessons for the “common good”, a phrase he used six times in 40 minutes before congress. Alas, with our human weaknesses, we need to hear them again and again like the cleansing ebb and flow of tides.
We wondered what the impact would have been had the good Pope traveled by ship, one of many in a fleet powered by non-polluting sails. The Vatican is famous for being in no hurry on issues, why then fly when he and his helpers could cleanly and quietly sail? There would be more time for contemplation and prayer. Think of the excitement generated by the media as people on shore waited around the world for the uncertain arrival of the Pope’s Great White Fleet made up of hospital and supply ships with medical supplies and food; vessels without the guns that bristled from Teddy Roosevelt’s fearful Great White Fleet. No “big sticks”, just softly delivered words in many languages from Francis and his sailors. A sailing pope or his representatives could be constantly sailing port to port bringing good cheer and setting examples. In the Water Closet we’ve mentioned a United Nations’ Great White Fleet under sails before. Whether Vatican, UN, American, or Chinese, such fleets would spread the words of Laudato Si, the Pope’s environmental encyclical, worldwide.
We know what you are saying, “Those old timers in the Water Closet are smoking pot and dreaming again”. What’s wrong with dreaming, as one of Francis’ American heroes, Martin Luther King, famously did? Some of King’s dreams have become American reality. The Pope laid the word “dream” on our congressmen, their guests, and watching TV audiences several times. Many of us don’t say “dream” as much as we do “hope”. We hope to awake from good dreams and have what it takes for action.
Thank you Pope Francis for your encyclical Laudato Si and for your follow up visits and wise words. Environmentalists knew they were on Mother Nature’s side; now a “Papa” Nature has joined the family.
WATER RESOURCE AND CONSERVATION INFORMATION
FOR MIDDLETON, BOXFORD AND TOPSFIELD`
|Precipitation Data* for Month of:||June||July||Aug||Sept|
|30 Year Normal (1981 – 2010) Inches||3.95||3.89||3.37||3.77|
|2015 Central Watershed Actual||5.87||2.12||2.67||1.0 as of 9/28**|
Ipswich R. Flow Rate (S. Middleton USGS Gage) in Cubic Feet/ Second (CFS):
For Sept 28, 2015 Normal . . . 8.5 CFS Current Rate . . . 17 CFS
*Danvers Water Filtration Plant, Lake Street, Middleton is the source for actual precipitation data thru Aug..
**Middleton Stream Team is source of actual precipitation data for Sept..
Normals data is from the National Climatic Data Center.
THE WATER CLOSET is provided by the Middleton Stream Team: www.middletonstreamteam.org or <MSTMiddletonMA@gmail.com> or (978) 777-4584