Dr. Jan Bowman, a long-time friend, gave me permission to include what she calls “creative nonfiction” here. I think it is so beautiful and touching and true that it is closer to poetry. Enjoy! Then please check out her website for some fascinating fictional short stories. And last, a happy hurrah shout-out to Jan and her partner for a very happy wedding day tomorrow.

Most people take the idea of having fresh water always available as a “given” in their lives.  We turn on the tap and have an abundance of safe water. But my dear friend, Dr. Mary Bowman-Kruhm has been working on a project to bring fresh water to a village in Kenya that she visited a few years ago. As a result, I have thought about how we take our clean water supply for granted. So I wrote a short creative nonfiction piece about it last year.

JanBowman2The Truth About Water

by Jan Bowman – October 2012

Drink up. Water is wealth. Water heals. Mends the cells and flushes toxins.


Drink water from plastic bottles bound for recycling or landfills. Reclaimed water flows into sinks, bathtubs and showers. We stand over cleansing basins of recycled water, flushed with complex chemicals. We drink deeply. Wash vital organs clear of toxins with water taken from bottles and tidy faucets. Faucets quench thirst, but bottles travel better.


Drink water. We have so much. But do we think about it at all? Water holds it all together. The great Earth’s land masses press, just as we do, against oceans, rivers, tides. Think of areas in China, Kenya, India or the Sudan. Among the Earth’s poorest people, water is valued more than riches. Water is wealth. Whether woman or child, she who bends her back and kneels to touch the shallow stream or river with dry, cracked lips will live, unless the water brings disease, or toxins do their work. Or if no rains come, famine will.


Drink water. But how much? It depends. Where do you live? How old are you? How healthy or wealthy? How much is enough? Perhaps eight or nine cups are enough, unless you’re thirsty, or tired, or your urine’s darker than light yellow. Or unless it’s early in the morning, or you’ve just swallowed a handful of vitamins, or you’re terribly ill. Then you might need more or less.


Drink more water. Lose weight. Flush out those toxins destined for the rivers of reclaimed water flowing into glasses and tubs. Don’t worry that you’ve taken too much. Water your lawn. Wash your car. Flush and flush, because you can. Not everyone can. But you’ll not think of that today. For that is our truth about water. We don’t know what life is like without it.


Drink up. Water is wealth. Water heals. Mends the cells and flushes toxins. Or some say,”Drink wine. You’ll live longer.” Of course, it takes water to make wine.


My friend, Dr. Mary Bowman-Kruhm, has been working with this project to dig wells which will provide fresh water in Oltorotua, Kenya.  I interviewed her on my blog site (Entry # 68) last year about her writing career and her work with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, Maryland – in conjunction with the Rotary Clubs in Maryland and Kenya. Go to my blog site – Entry # 68 – Posted last June 5, 2012, for my complete interview with Mary about her writing and her work on this project.

Consider the good that you might do with a small donation to this worthy project.  

Thanks so much, Jan.  A note from Mary:  Please notice you can now contribute to the Oltorotua Well & Sanitation Project online thru PayPal, a well-respected online service.  

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