Save for a few floating leaves and a tinge of peat, this icy cold water on a mountainside in the Himalayas is probably as pure as you’re likely to find it. Or so I thought. Above the villages you’d expect it to be untouched by humans apart from the occasional trekker or farmer. But then there is all the carbon pollution in our atmosphere, so evident in the valley of Kathmandu. And the recent, and not so recent, media about Everest and man’s attempt to conquer the mountain regardless of the ‘cost’ to other people or the environment. Now, when I look at that clear water it makes we wonder.
When I was trekking in Ethiopia a few years ago we passed a coptic church in the middle of the countryside on top of the plateau. The priest was walking along the track and stopped to greet us. He was happy for me to take a photo; something I don’t often do as I’m always a little embarrassed to ask. I was so taken by the calm and peace of this man that it was only later when I looked at the photo, that I really saw the beauty of his age etched face and rheumy eyes. I wondered what those eyes had witnessed in his lifetime.