Monday, February 27, 2012

Running water: Health Indicator of our environment

Ice block believed to be the indicator once upon a time (picture given from diff angles):

Sumthrang village is just below a huge cliff. To walk up it takes about half an hour but it is just over 15 minutes to walk down from the the cliff top to the village.
The stream that runs down through the ravine of the cliff was once an indicator to predict next harvest of the later season according to the elderly villagers. The 'SOUND OF FALLING ICE' indicates the good harvest to expect say the villagers.

“We some times use to hear the thudding sound of a falling ice block and if heard we are already happy because it means a good harvest to follow our sweating labour into our farm lands,” Thering Dorji at his late 80s' told me.
It sounded a wired concept, because although I was born in the same village, since my childhood as far I remember, this thudding sound as claimed by the elders is never heard. May be because as soon as I could remember, I also heard elders claim the snow fall has decreased drastically, which means I was already late to hear the sound.
At that time, I remember the snow fall is as thick as my short knee length and I am at my early 5. And since than, the snow fall could hardly cover the shoe sole. Where has the snow gone?
According to this old man, it is true and the indicator never failed their trust and believe in it. Every time they heard the thudding sound of the falling ice block off the big cliff, the harvest was never bad. Although some times harvest is better even without hearing the thudding sound.
Wondering if this could be true, I could not stop thinking. I drew a conclusion and thought it can be true.
Because for a falling ice to create a loud thudding sound while falling, it would need a huge ice block, big enough to make that sound.
To form a huge ice block, the volume of the stream should be big enough to provide volume for the ice. To have the needed volume of water in the stream, the environment should be healthy so that the water shade above its running bed should have enough source of water to give out.
And eventually, if the environment is good, why not the good harvest for the farmers? So i concluded that, water bodies and its volume indicates the health of our environment.
The thudding sound of the ice is never heard so far although certain measurement of ice block can be found hanging along the ravine of Sumthrang's cliff. When I am small the stream that runs down from the cliff is never dry through out the winter but now it is not big enough even during the summers.
If water volume is something to do with the health of our environment, than certainly the health of our environment is declining......!!!
A shot of Sumthrang village from the cliff top:
Pictures by Sonam Nyenda

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