Where then does the term watershed moment come from?
After all, nobody ever says catchment or basin moment instead.
|Watershed lines are hard to delineate in the swamp …|
The terms watershed, basin, and catchment are all used to describe the area of land in which rain or snowmelt discharges to a single point, or as is the case of the Big Cypress Swamp, a single stretch of coastline. The special status of the term watershed in the metaphorical sense comes from its erstwhile use as the line in the sand that separates two basins.
A watershed moment has a Eureka quality to it that hits you out of nowhere but infuses you in an instant with a completely and utterly revolutionary view on events or an issue or how things interconnect. Call it no coincidence that people often experience Eureka moments during a morning shower when, importantly, water is pelting them in the face!
Okay, maybe I’m stretching the meaning a bit.
|Except where elevated roadbeds make them easy to see|
And what wild-eyed wildcat miner worth his weight in salt, cannot recall a time in the past or drum up in the chest a hope that a future path awaits in which their arduously but rhythmically toil into terra incognita among the high mountain passes will reward them in a infinitesimal of a second too random to even predict other than a glimpse of a glimmer through a corner of an eye, or an unexplainable hunch that turns them down the ancient ruins of a forgotten trail:
“Gold!”— as in Eureka –
Or do I mean water, as in a new watershed line?
As a hydrologist I’m usually happy with a liquid find.