A Collection of Water Molecules and Thoughts
Who are we? Who all is within us? Where will everything be in the future?
When washing my hands, I noticed how the used water ran down into the drain, to disappear in the depth of the underground – forever?
Then, I filled half a glass with water and drank it. Only the last drop still coming out of the faucet happened to fall on one of my hands, to be wiped off by a towel – to evaporate!
Where would all that water go, I asked myself?
Some time ago, I read on the internet that we all contain at least a few water molecule from every ancient person who ever lived, whether male or female. How could that be? Could it be true?
I conducted a simple calculation, well supported by Google and Wikipedia. The result? The body of each human being contains about 50 to 60 % water. One can calculate how many water molecules that is – and how many “human” units of water are contained in all the water on Earth. The result: 50.000 molecules of water could be sent from one historic body upon its elimination or dissolution to every other future human body on Earth! But since there were only about one trillion people on Earth so far, the transmission-rate must be reduced by 1,000, leaving about 50 molecules as being sent from each human body having lived over the last 18000 years to every other one ever having lived since – also to myself and you!
But there is still one mistake: We actually drink about 3 liters of water every day – equal to about 50,000 liters during our life! All that water is, at one time, very much part of our body – distributed over every part of us, from brain to toes. This water is eliminated over time, as new water is being taken in – pushed out of our body by the kidneys or by evaporation from the skin or from breathing. When considering this total amount of water that was once very much part of us and the future increase of mankind, each one of us will actually contribute 50,000 water molecules to each future human body over the next 10,000 years!
I looked at my hand as it was typing this and asked myself, “is that hand actually me? Where did all its molecules come from? Who all is residing in that hand?”
But I relaxed thinking that it was actually only I who had full control over my hand! Then I saw my car sitting on the driveway. Where did all its parts come from, after all? Old cars are being scrapped. The scrap may be used to produce material for new cars. How much of my car was in other cars before? And how about my house?
Finally, I began writing a story about the collection of the water molecules within me, about their journeys, how I acquired this collection, and how I should take care of it. After all, some people collect stamps from all around the world. Some people collect coins – or all other sorts of things. Nature made me collect water molecules.
Here are some of my most valued donors of water molecules to my body, listed by historic age, even though they may have donated only one or very few molecules each:
- From ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt: Urukagina, the person I most revere in the early history of civilization, ruler of Lagash, ca 2350 BC, who established the first government based on human rights and social justice, including the protection of women and orphans – concepts still reverberating in our Western society! Some more of my water molecules came from the pharaoh Khofu, the builder of the immense Cheops pyramid – and from Nefertiti!
- From ancient Greece and Rome: Thales of Milet, son of Phoenician parents, the originator of rational thought in explaining the phenomena of life on Earth – leading to the philosophical schools of old Athens – and rationality in the arts. Then, I highly appreciate personalities such as Solon, Pericles, Thucydides, Sophocles, and Seneca. Some should be added from Roman times: Cicero and Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius. Should there not some humble, middle-class or even lower-class people be added to the list – who experienced history with human emotions and were more related to us? Should not a number of women be added to the list?
- From the origin of Christianity: The group of people including Jesus and his disciples, also Judas – and Mary or other women – and the great missionaries St. Paul and St. Peter.
- The transformation of the Roman empire and Germanic migrations: Emperor Theodoric the Great of the Ostrogoth, but residing in Ravenna, Charles the Great of the Frankonians, who first established Europe
- The long stretch of the Middle Ages: Any number of kings or emperors, also Joan d’Arc. More importantly, personalities from the awakening European civilization in thought and the arts – including wonderful women – as Ste. Elisabeth!
- From our times: Now come the inventors and creators of modern thought – but also the great personalities of literature, whether Shakespeare, Goethe or Schiller, and the personalities of politics, the Founding Fathers of the democratic United States, forming our modern minds.
- Present-day personalities may be excluded since there was not enough time for their water molecules to be distributed throughout the world.
But leave me alone with molecules from all the bad guys throughout history! You can keep them – or I will spit them out again right away once I can identify them!
How are water molecules distributed anyway?
Some may simply flow down along the narrow and predetermined paths of rivers until they reach large lakes or specific oceans where the rivers end. Then, they can follow the significant ocean currents – as the Gulf Stream reaching and warming Europe, originating from the tropics – or the cold Humboldt Stream along the western shore of South America. Occasionally, water molecules may be transported by migrating birds – but most easily by evaporation and, then, by being carried swiftly across vast distances by the winds, until they rain down once more. Mountain ranges present barriers, especially for rain-filled clouds, which must leave their water content as they rise along the slopes of those mountains, merely to be washed back again to the ocean they just came from, again and again – until once they can rise very high and swiftly fly across those mountains
Only during the most modern times, commercial distribution became available, for example of wine – by means of railroads and ships, seldom by airplanes.
What could I do myself for my personal collection of water molecules in my body? Like a stamp collector, I was still longing to obtain some rare ones from distant places. Here was the idea: I traveled to the area where I expected them to reside! Three times I traveled all across China – drinking tea all the way – and thinking of Confucius and Lao-Tse. We traveled extensively along the Mediterranean coast – from Turkey to Greece, Italy, France, and Spain – dutifully drinking plenty of local wines – and thinking of all those molecule donors listed above. We traveled several times around the United States, thinking of old Indian chiefs or cowboys – and enjoying local brews of beers or hard liquor – merely to keep collecting!
There is only one disappointing news for my water molecule collection: I cannot keep it stable. As water molecules join me all the time, so they leave me all the time – via the kidneys or via evaporation from the skin and breathing. I must be satisfied to have had them at least for some time during y life within me – but some of them may actually stay with me for a long time! After all, I am still 60 % water right now. Hallo pharaoh Nefertiti (why do I not recognize you when looking into a mirror?), Khofu, Pericles, or you others lesser knowns within me!
As I thought that I was done, another thought occurred to me. I am not only a body – with all that water. After all, I have a mind, too! But what a large part of my thoughts actually were contributed by others!
My parents contribute many of the thoughts now residing in my mind, then my teachers, most importantly, my friends!
I could write another long list of those who contributed to the thoughts now in my mind!
How do thoughts journey through this world? There is word-of-mouth. Then, there were books, few at first. There were migrating teachers. Now, there is the internet – and Google and Wikipedia.
How can I take care of that collection of thoughts? What thoughts do I not have yet, but want?
I could travel to where the thoughts originated and still reside. We have done that and greatly enjoyed it. You do get different thoughts whether you sit in a New York hotel lobby or in a small bistro on the French Riviera or in a tent at the Oktoberfest in Munich. It also depends who you sit with, mind you!
I am grateful that we are made of both, body (with water) and mind (with thoughts)!
I greatly enjoy taking care of my collections of water molecules and thoughts!
This morning, as I drank a cup of coffee, many new water molecules came rushing into my body! How long and where will they stay? Whom will I be connected with next? We all share this world!!
I picked-up my phone and called a distant friend – merely to exchange some thoughts!
What a joy to be aware of life!