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Slices of Life

Water, wonderful water

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My grandbaby has started talking. One of her first words was “water.” It’s a multi-tasking multi-purpose word in her life. When she’s in the bath, she’s surrounded by water. When she’s in the lake, she swims in water. When it rains, water falls down on her from the sky to create puddles for splashing. When she drinks from her cup, she tastes water. When I pour a glass of wine, she calls it water. And I guess she’s mostly correct. Wine is mainly comprised of water – 85 percent, to be exact. (Wink.)

I’ve touched on the subject of water before. But it warrants revisiting because water is nothing short of miraculous and I’m about to explain why.

The make-up of water is relatively simple; two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen combine to form one of the most simple and most complex of substances in existence. 

Water – good old H2O – is a necessary component to all life. At least here on earth. Every living thing needs water to survive – plants, animals, insects, people, reptiles, birds, amoeba and of course the obvious: fish.

When water is frozen it can cool our drinks, but that’s merely the tip of the iceberg regarding the topic of frozen water. Glaciers carved out rivers, lakes and streams. They forged mountains and formed canyons. Water literally sculpted Mother Earth, as well as infamously sinking the Titanic.

Water gives life and takes it away.

Water forms clouds which produce rain that feeds the grass, trees, ponds, rivers, streams, lakes and oceans. More than 70 percent of the earth is covered with water. The human brain and heart are nearly equal to that number. It’s astounding: Mother Earth and our hearts and brains all contain relatively the same proportion of water. Let that sink in.

When rain freezes to make snow, it forms crystals – each unique in and of itself. Not to mention beautiful. It’s hard to wrap your brain around that. Every snowflake is uniquely formed. Uniquely beautiful. Uniquely water. 

We drink water and it detoxifies our body via sweat and urine. We take a bath or a shower and it detoxifies our skin. Water helps us regulate body temperature, via sweat or a shower or a dip into the lake. It nourishes our internal organs and helps fight wrinkles. It lubricates our joints. It carries oxygen throughout our body (via our blood, which is 90 percent water). It provides a cushion for the brain and spinal cord. It aids digestion and helps maintain blood pressure. Impressed yet?

We can go three weeks without food (some experts claim twice that much) but only a few days – a week tops – without water. 

My granddaughter was surrounded by water even before she was born. Amniotic fluid filled the sac that held her until she officially made her entry into this world. Babies in the womb literally swim in their mother’s bag of water. It cushions their environment. If the amniotic sac breaks, baby can no longer survive inside mom’s body. 

It makes sense then that one of my grandbaby’s first words was water. It’s been a necessary part of her life long before we officially knew her as the unique person she is. Besides, she’s a smart baby. Can’t wait until she learns to swim, again.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright, author and member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.


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