The water you kids were playing in, he said, had probably been to Africa and the North Pole. Genghis Khan or Saint Peter or even Jesus himself might have drunk it. Cleopatra might have bathed in it. Crazy Horse might have watered his pony with it. Sometimes water was liquid. Sometimes it was rock hard---ice. Sometimes it was soft---snow. Sometimes it was visible but weightless---clouds. And sometimes it was completely invisible---vapor---floating up in the sky like the souls of dead people. There was nothing like water in the world, Jim said. It made the desert bloom but also turned rich bottomland into swamp. Without it we'd die, but it could also kill us, and that was why we loved it, even craved it, but also feared it. Never take water for granted, Jim said. Always cherish it. Always beware of it.
March 14, 2011
From Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls (pages 148-149):