Sunday, 19 September 2004
To Which Watershed Do You Belong?
CREDIT: © Peter Callaway/Watersheds.org
WHERE: Bryant Creek, Missouri, USA. WHAT: alternative definition of belonging.
MAP: Bryant Creek watershed and location. Thumbnail pops-up source web page.
As individuals, the definition of who we are is often predicated upon our group memberships. It begins with the announcement of our birth, with details of kinship, and ends with notice of our deaths: the more successful among us will be given an obituary or a eulogy detailing achievements within the various groups to which we have belonged in our lifetimes. Often times when reading an obituary people will exclaim, "I didn't know (s)he was one of the…" Of all the ways of slicing and dicing group memberships, one we have never heard is recognition of membership of a particular watershed community.
On Bryant Creek in the Ozarks this may be changing. Perhaps one day people who live within the watershed will be proud to proclaim their membership of the watershed community in the same breath as their other affiliations.
The city of St. Louis stands in the southwest quadrant created by the confluence of the River Missouri running east, and the River Mississippi running south. Further into that hinterland rises the eroded dome of the Ozark Plateau. The plateau drains south and east back towards the River Mississippi, and one of its watersheds is Bryant Creek: this watershed has its own web site, and Watersheds.org informs the ten thousand community members of every facet of the place where they live.
We took the photo tour, but on an extended visit you are sure to find many other delights. We particularly enjoyed 'The Ozark Divide: A Tale of Two Raindrops'. The feature picture shows one of three famous local mill sites, Hodgson Mill, the original home of a nationally available eponymous brand of wholemeal Graham flour products, with an image of the old mill still appearing on the company's packaging.
Indirectly this place is one of the spiritual homes of the graham cracker, a foodstuff aimed at helping you to suppress those lustful thoughts that have been troubling you so much lately. In one of those bitter ironies that life throws at our best efforts, most graham crackers are now made from refined flour.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)