Pressure For Progress
This past summer we took a fabulous short vacation in Joseph, OR. We stayed at the Wallowa Lake Lodge. The lodge was built in 1923 and still has the rustic old world charm Donna Lee, my wife and I greatly enjoy. As a part of our stay we took the tram up to the top of Mt. Howard. From the summit we could easily see parts of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. We enjoyed the short hike around the rim. Up at 5932 feet, the air is a little thinner. It was hot and I was thirsty as we walked around the south and then to the east side of the mountain. I was surprised and glad to hear what sounded like running water. It was water springing up from a flowing artesian well. It was cold and more delicious than the best bottled water I have ever tasted.
Before this I had never really thought that much about the nature of an artesian well. Artesian wells are named after the former province of Artois in France, where many artesian wells were drilled y Carthusian monks beginning in 1126. I think all the artesian springs I have ever seen have been coming out of the side of a ridge nearer sea level, not at the top of a half-mile high mountain. An artesian well is a pump-less water source that uses pipes to allow underground water that is under pressure to rise to the surface. These wells seem to defy gravity because the pressure
that builds up between layers of rock gets relieved when the water finds a path to the open air. The water is naturally filtered because it passes through porous rock as it seeps into the Earth to reach the aquifer, which is the underground water source.
You and I experience many pressures perhaps more now than ever before in human history; pressures and choices that require more decisions daily than were ever needed or possible in the past. This is a different kind of pressure than our forbearers experienced. Most of humankind for the last six thousand years of recorded history has spent every waking hour just trying to survive. Now we have time on our hands and money in our pockets and the new kind of pressure we experience is deciding what to do with this time and money. So it is not the amount or kind of pressure we experience, it is how we cope and respond to the pressure that determines the quality of our lives. The way we respond to these choices is determined by what we're made of. Self-indulgence, narcissistic self-absorption, and adolescents acting out that fail to consider consequences, results in long-term negative consequences. Forethought, introspection and an inner directed life results in the purity and power, that when seen by others, can be as refreshing as a drink of filtered pure clean clear water.