“Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.”
The phrase danced back and forth in her mind like a fairy tale rhyme, keeping the rhythm in her mind matching the tick of the meter.
The river water flowed into the vast stretch of potassium mine, inking everything with a startling bright blue color that could only be attributed to the potassium chloride. The water, already unfit for human consumption, would hardly be cleaner for settling into the vats for the next few weeks. It would only be pure again when it evaporated away into the atmosphere, leaving its contaminants behind.
She envied the water for that. Four years away at college had done nothing to soften her old reputation as a troublemaker party girl. She’d graduated with over 100 hours of community service and Latin honors, but that didn’t change anything. Here, in a small town with an eternal memory? She would never escape that old life.
The money had run out a long time ago, and the job leads out of college never did amount to any income, so here she was: living at home, sleeping in her purple-and-orange childhood bedroom, working for minimum wage at the potassium mine with her father.
The landscape was pretty, and the healthcare benefits were actually pretty decent, but that was where the benefits ended. The good news, she decided, was that it was all uphill from here.
Until then… she turned off the pipe, listening to the meter’s tick slow to a stop. Until then, she would just have to enjoy looking at the water, even if she couldn’t yet take a drink.
Source: This blog series is inspired by the book “Earth from Above: 365 Days” by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Click here to read more about my Creation365 series.
The top picture is from “United States. Utah. Moab. A potassium mine.”
Arthus-Bertrand, Yann, Isabelle Delannoy, and Christian Balmes. 2005. The Earth from above: 365 days. New York: Harry N. Abrams