This year has been a hot summer! Heat waves, thirst and sweat are words used to describe the last few weeks. Thirst has been combated by a tall glass of cool, refreshing water; sweat has been slaked off by the rush of water coming from the shower head. Living in the city in a developed country, I am blessed to have the water that I need at the twist of a tap. There is no need for me to walk long distances to fetch the water I need and then carry it home. It is not necessary for me to boil the water before I drink it. This week I am grateful for water that is clean and easily accessible.
They say water is a source of life. Without water plants, animals and humans are unable to survive. Communities grow around a water source. Animals track the source of this life-giving liquid. Plants thrive when there is moisure.
And yet water is not the only source of living.
As humans, we seek for much more than mere survival. Yes, we need water and the food that we can grow with it. But we need so much more to thrive. We need shelter: a place where our bodies can be safe. We need a home: a place where we can be quiet, a place where we can recuperate from the stresses of the day. And if we have love and acceptance in our home? An added bonus as loving care can help us develop into human beings that excel at living.
Love and acceptance cannot only help us thrive as human beings but can also lead us develop a positive sense of self-esteem. A positive sense of self can help us to make choices with confidence; it can help us be sure of our path; it can help us dare to live. It is in daring to live that we move outside the box and do things that cause us discomfort.
Going on an adventure, changing career mid-life, wearing something different, trying new foods. These actions are a reflection of who we are. We can be courageous, we can be sure of who we are, we can be comfortable in our skin. We can live and enjoy every moment.
Water may be a source of life – but it is not the source of living. Living comes from having a home, from being loved and from being accepted for who we are. Living comes from a strong sense of self and the confidence to take steps into the unknown. Living comes from so much more than drinking a glass of liquid. Yes, water may keep us alive but to live we need love and the confidence to dare experience life in its entirety.
The newly installed tap had become the focal point of the village: women gathered around it to gossip; men stopped by to exchange advice; nearby children played their imaginative games and shrieked with delight when their best friends arrived. Ntombi had been grateful when the huge truck had arrived to install the water reservoir. Having water on tap within the compound saved time that was better spent in the fields. But she missed the solitude of her long walks to the river and the time to reflect on her dreams.
Last weekend we had the opportunity to spend the afternoon lakeside. I have already shared with you the pictures I took of the amazing sunset (here). What made me happy too, though, was spending time just looking at the wide expanse of water and the beautiful greenery that surrounds it.
The wide expanse of water soothed my soul: a soul that is daily surrounded by the man-made skyscrapers of a city.
There were some people on the lake enjoying its serenity and tranquillity.
We took a slow boat ride on the water and admired the shoreline and nature’s beauty.
The shoreline looked rugged – especially where there were no docks signalling human habitation.
I enjoyed the boat ride and my afternoon at a place I found invigorating.
I hope that my family and I can visit this spot another day. We enjoyed our time there and created some beautiful memories.
Do you enjoy visiting a lake?
(This post was encouraged by Paula’s non-challenge: Thursday’s Special. Head on over and browse through some inspiring posts)
Water is the essence of life. Without it life would cease to exist: plants would wither and die; animals would fall down in dehydration; and humans would not be able to survive. Plants, animals and humans need water to get the chemicals they need from their surroundings, to break down food, to move substances within their bodies and organisms, and to reproduce. In addition to giving life to organisms, water also brings beauty into our world. Think of how water can transform a barren, rocky landscape to one filled with life and vegetation.
More than half of our bodies are made up of water: the water composition of an average adult male being almost 60%. Where do we get this essential fluid for our body? We receive it from the liquids that we drink, and from the water content of the foods that we eat. In order that we remain healthy, we need to ensure that we have enough water in our bodies so that our body temperature can be maintained and that the nutrients we need can be transported to our organs and tissues.
When we lose water (through urination, sweating, and respiration), we need to ensure that we refill the body. In addition, diuretics such as caffeine, alcohol and some medications can cause you to lose water from your body. We know we do not have enough water in our bodies when our urine is a yellow or amber colour, and has a strong odour. Other symptoms of dehydration are: thirst, joint and muscle pain, lower back pain, headaches, and constipation.
What can you do to ensure that the water levels in your body are in balance? The first is to drink liquid. Take note, though, that not all liquids are equal. A can of Coke, for example, will not have the same benefits as a long glass of cool water. The soft drink has sugar added (not helpful if you want to maintain your weight) as well as other additives. The food you eat can also help you to prevent dehydration: watermelon is a perfect example for a hot summer’s day. Fruit like apples too, though, have a high water content. And what about that cucumber, or piece of celery, that you snack on in the afternoon? Eating fresh, raw vegetables will help you to stave the thirsty sign of dehydration. For a list of the water content of fruits and vegetables, have a look at the document that has been prepared by the University of Kentucky. You may find it interesting.
What about the advice to drink 8 glasses of water a day? To be honest, I do not drink 2 litres of water a day – and that includes any tea or juice that I drink. As I eat plenty of fruit and raw vegetables I do not need to fill my body with so much liquid. There are times, though, on hot sweat days when I find myself reaching for a tall glass of water more often; or on days when I eat salty, cooked food. I try to listen to what my body is telling me and give it liquid when it asks. Drinking too much water is just as unhealthy for your body as drinking too little. It places strain on your body by making your kidneys work overtime to get rid of the excess water.
How do you replenish the water level in your body?