Every Drop of Water

“Grab that water,” my husband said. “Let’s take it with us.”

We were leaving our room with a view of the Mediterranean Sea. And he was pointing to a couple inches of water in a bottle.

I was glad he had noticed.

Careful with water—this is what guides had been saying all through Egypt and Jordan and now in Israel. And it’s what we’d been reading on signs in hotels.

The theme was strong.

“I know you want sun,” our guide said yesterday. “But I hope it rains. The early rains haven’t come.”

They need these rains for drinking and irrigating, but also for harvest. Dusty olives need the washing of rain before picking.

The theme stayed strong.

Netting covers acres of banana trees holding water close to the trees, not letting it evaporate. Water-catch basins line the tops of buildings. And when water is free at restaurants, it is announced.

Our bus passed a massive desalination plant at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea.

“A growing industry for Israel,” the guide said. “We take salt from the water and sell the water to other nations.”

An hour later, we stopped in front of a small tree.

“Tamarack,” the guide said, “the kind of tree Abraham planted to worship God.”

This tree, he explained, has its own desalination system. Its roots separate the salt from the water, sending the salt to the leaves. The salty leaves are used to clean wounds and treat infections. But they also drop salt to the ground, preventing other plants from growing under it, and in this way saving every drop of water for the tree.

For sure I’m enjoying every drop that washes dust down the back of my throat.

And I’ve found new understanding as to why water flows so freely through the ancient words of scripture.

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