L’eau, Water Everywhere

Murals decorate the walls of the pool area where my mom likes to sit and crochet while I swim.

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

That’s another one of those phrases that used to be in common parlance that you never hear anyone say anymore. Maybe it’s because the paradigm has shifted, at least in our culture–and water encased in plastic vessels, is indeed everywhere– and intentioned for drinking.

So why don’t I drink it? I’ve got to figure out a way to be way more mindful about drinking water. We are so blessed to have clean drinking water. My heart hurts when I see the families in refuge camps and in natural disasters struggling to stay hydrated. And here we are, surrounded by it.

For a brief time, when I was a child, our family had to do without water in our house when a  limestone mining operation in our area caused our well to run dry. It was a real challenge for mother and daddy until we were able to drill another and deeper well.

For me it was an exciting time in my life–going to the spring with daddy and filling up the large barrel with water for our bathing and washing needs was an exciting adventure for me, but it must have been a terrible chore for my father. I never knew that though.That’s the kind of parents I had. They never ever expressed resentment. Ever. No matter what their sacrifices might have been, they were always  given with grace and love.

The tiny spring was located near a tiny white framed church called Ebenezer, and the spring was the site of many a baptism. My great, great grandfather had ridden to the church on his horse to preach Methodist sermons, one of the ministers  of that time who were called circuit riders.

The cold waters of the spring bubbled into a four foot square concrete structure that was encrusted with the cornucopia shaped shells of periwinkles. The sweet, pure water then flowed into a small branch where crawdads scurried and hid (from me), and then on into a small brown sunlit creek in which brim and water moccasins shared quarters with snapping turtles and bull frogs.

Nestled in the shadowy edge of the woods , the secluded little spring was truly beautiful and the fact that it was  inhabited by new and  strange critters confirmed to me that it was indeed a singular and  magical place. While daddy toiled carrying buckets of water to the large barrel, I caught sleek little mudpuppies hiding beneath leaves and rocks  and felt their slithery, muscular  bodies in the palm of my hand,  I poked at crawdads with their alien pincers , and pulled innocently preoccupied periwinkles off the concrete walls of the spring  and examined their black shells and bodies. And of course I took off my Keds and peeled of my white socks and waded in the cool water, the round river stones beneath my feet.

Exhibit A as to why I have no excuse not to schedule in some exercise, even when it rains.

So I should appreciate water, and I do. But then I do without a lot of things that I have an appreciation for, all because in my mind I believe I am too short on time to address that for which I have the most profound need.

It is not about availability. It’s about choice.

My failure to engage in more physical activity during the work week is much like my failure to drink enough water. I have tennis shoes and feet. So I ought to get out and walk. And I have access to a lovely pool where I can swim laps.

This week I managed to push  through my tiredness and harriedness and the lateness of the hour and managed to go on a couple of walks and to take a swim. And I am surely the better for it.

I now am about to go for another swim–since it is raining outside–I DID say there was water everywhere, and I am going to try a lot harder this week to drink more water.

L’eau, let there be water–and this week,  let me take better advantage of my watery blessings!

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