Sunday Best – June 2, 2024

A weird little dream of mine came true this week when I got to visit the Deer Island water treatment plant, the site of the big egg-shaped sludge digesters that you see when you fly into Logan Airport in Boston.

There is a particular sort of heroism in giant public works projects. They cost astounding amounts of money. They are held up by endless politics. They are dangerous and difficult to build. They take forever to complete. They are the subject of jokes and complaints and curses. The real-time rewards are zero for all involved.

And yet, when done well, over time, the benefits are infinite.

What is it worth to turn on the tap with confidence? What is it worth to see fish and shorelines and humans thriving? What is it worth to sing “Dirty Water” at Fenway with nostalgic joy?

Dear ones, every day we have chances big and small to benefit our own futures – for ourselves, for our families, for our communities, for the whole world. It’s usually inconvenient, and very hard work. No glory. No glamour.

Let’s try.


With thanks to the MWRA and the Boston Long Now group for this wonderful field trip!

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