The waters of life

I am the voice of the watershed, liquid before you, detained behind Holser Dam in Reeder Reservoir. I am loath to report that your latest attempts to blunt the buildup of a plume of algae that gurgles and froths in the source of your drinking water has failed, and disallows me in providing you with a sweet, fresh respite from your daily dependence on my ongoing health. I will soon be in a bitter mood and you will be able to notice it right away.

On the heels of a failed attempt with a "lake restorer" to naturally cleanse the upper duck pond, which eventually had to be pumped out with tanker trucks, two "solar bees" were floated behind the dam, which were to mix the lower and upper waters in an attempt to thwart the potent plume, but, alas, these efforts have failed as the bees lacked the buzz to freshen once clear waters. The City of Ashland will treat water in Reeder Reservoir with sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide, then, if all else fails mix in a witch's brew of copper sulfate to still the stench. Somehow you deserve better.

I come from the ocean, which, by the way, is in a world of hurt. It is over-fished, full of dead zones where oxygen has been replaced by your foul wretchedness and mountains of plastic, trash and treachery. The more foolish of you believe that drilling for precious little oil off your coasts will somehow make the inevitable oil spills, spoiled beaches and massive maritime losses easier to swallow as you resist embracing renewables as adamantly as a headstrong child might foreswear eating fresh fruit in favor of a sugar-laced treat.

I put Ashland on the map, providing Ashland Creek with the power to grind flour, mill lumber and power a textile facility I made it possible to feed, house and clothe the gold miners of Jacksonville. I propelled you into history, yet, over the years much of my vibrancy has leaked from your water system and I can only laugh how your government charges you sewer fees for watering your garden which provides you with fresh and potent fruits and vegetables, something that I do best.

Your politics and policies treat me like stacked firewood, though you are only a rock slide, earthquake or flood away from being divorced from my presence. That you refuse to hook up to a backup supply of life essence remains a mystery to my perch above, below and through you. Some say that you exist only to transport me about, but I want no part of how you abuse the planet while focusing on such minutia that only a self-absorbed species could entertain.

Maybe it's time to focus on my health, your wise use of me and how to dredge the silt that limits my bounty behind the dam. From what I read, you have several amongst you who might produce wonders in cleaning up my house that laps at the shores of the reservoir. I make reference, of course, to those of you who inspire, melt hearts and bind the community: the bear, the lion and Alfredo. I leave open the possibility of the shy giraffe, who prefers not to make waves. Send them up to confer with me and soon a plan will form to rekindle my once sweet and year-round abundance. At least these emissaries of goodwill keep you in mind, though they drink not a drop and forgive to a fault.

Yet, in the long run, we are in this together. Drink me until you drop, at least your humor won't be all that dry. was last seen listening keenly to the waters in Ashland Creek, nodding his head in the affirmative. Practice holding your nose as the reservoir drains down to its essence.

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