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Sweet Water



We drink and bathe in what we call sweet water or fresh water and it rejuvenates us. Its restorative powers quench our thirst. Our energy is refreshed as we splash its coolness on our faces on hot summer days, or bathe our cold or weary bodies in the comforting embrace of a hot bath.


This water has the fresh look of a sweet young maiden. Despite her youthful appearance though, she is millions of years old, but she regenerates herself constantly through a cycle in which she rises as vapour from the oceans, lives in the clouds for a while, rains down on mountaintops where she sleeps in frozen white robes then melts and runs in surface streams, swamps, secret underground lakes, springs and rivers that run toward the sea where she will be reborn like a soul in the Buddhist Wheel of Reincarnation.


Fresh water evokes the image of youth that is smooth and plump with moisture. Ancient myths about rare and precious waters that miraculously restored youth, gave immortality, or extended longevity by thousands of years, abounded in the Orient. They trickled down to Europe inspiring Spanish Conquistador Ponce de Leon to search in vain for the fabled Fountain of Youth.


No waters have ever been found to be so sweet to us, but what we call sweet water is indeed a rare and precious thing because though we live on a planet that is mostly covered in water, less than 3% of it is fresh water. Two-thirds of this tiny percentage is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps, most of the rest is underground and 0.3% is surface water.


There is another connection between water and youth: as babies we emerge with bodies that are 78% water, but as we age our water content drops to around 55% to 60% depending on gender and body fat. Like the youth we have once taken for granted, sweet water too deteriorates and dwindles under the assault of excessive consumption, pollution and climate change.


More than a billion people lack access to it and many more will suffer in the twenty-first century if those who are used to its abundance won’t learn to treasure mankind’s only real Fountain of Youth.



© Francesca Profili 2015


Print on canvas:  29 x 20.6 inches (73.7 x 52.4 cm)


Price:  $244 USD stretched (on 1.5" stretchers) or $147 USD rolled. To buy, click here.


To view more prints, clickBack to Slideshow 1