Oasis

By Eilene Lyon

When you think “oasis,” perhaps it conjures an image that starts out as a rippling, liquid mirage on the horizon surrounded by dunes of hot, red sand.  As you get closer, it resolves itself into a cluster of palm trees surrounding a cool, blue pool of crystalline water.  You dismount from your lead camel and unload the spices and bundles of silks from your pack train, and you all gratefully take your fill of the refreshing water.  Colorful Bedouin tents mingle with the palms, enticing you with aromas of exotic dishes prepared by lovely harems…

Okay, reality check.  This is a true American oasis.  And it’s nasty.

StJacobsWell3

StJacobsWell1

Located in the Big Basin Prairie Preserve in southwestern Kansas, St. Jacob’s Well is a sinkhole that has never been known to go dry.  It’s about 84 feet in diameter and 58 feet deep.  It has been used since prehistoric times, and was important for early western-wandering European settlers.  Now imagine a wagon train that has not seen water for a couple days, the oxen are about to drop from exhaustion (maybe the horses have already died of dehydration), everyone – man, woman and child – is coated with ten layers of dust and hasn’t bathed in a week or more.  Dry tongues lick cracked lips.  You manage to arrive at this hole in Little Basin and…

Drink from a stagnant, stinky pool filled with leaves, branches, pond scum, insect larvae, frogs, etc.  Yummy.  On top of that, the entire pool is surrounded with poison ivy.  Now that will really make your day!

I’m reminded of that scene in Born to Run by Christopher McDougall where the young couple gets lost while running the desert canyons.  They realize they just might die of dehydration and are forced to dip their water bottles into a tiny, scummy puddle on the trail, infested with god-knows-what to save themselves.

Makes one really appreciate the potable water that comes out of the faucet at the crank of a handle, now, doesn’t it?

 

Feature image by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash

4 thoughts on “Oasis

Add yours

Please share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

The Letters

Louise Mabey

Smart Canyon Genealogy

Viewing family trees from 8500 feet

OUT OF STANDARD BOOKS

BOOKS, WRITING, LITERATURE, HUMOR

The Chiddicks Family Tree

Every Family has a story to tell..........Welcome to mine

Crossed Eyes and Dotted Tees

Writing, Blogging and Books

One Woman's Quest II

Navigating life through grandparenthood, chronic illness, dream work, and other inspirations

One Woman's Quest

Passion for writing ignites my soul's momentum

Opening Doors in Brick Walls

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell

Clio the History Muse

Thoughts about teaching and learning history

The Yoga Cowgirl

Live fully and have fun doing so...

tales from my typewriter

everyone has a story

Onward Ohio History!

Buckeyes from all Directions : by Kathy Warnes

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

Needles in a Haystack

Family history site where I can share my latest discoveries.

THE MEMOIR LIFE

"Nothing that happens to a writer -- however happy, however tragic -- is ever wasted." ~ P.D. James

Genealogy With Valerie

Genealogy..a journey to the past present and future.

Garden Therapy

Exploring the Past to Improve the Future

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: