The Everyday Element of Water
The first touch of water upon waking: the bathroom faucet, running hot first, then cooling it down with the cold, water deeply warm and drenching a facecloth. The aerated sound is full-on with wide-open taps, then stops. I squeeze the excess water from the cloth and then cover my face, the steamy warmth penetrating my eyelids and sinuses. It is a ritual I’ve come to depend on, a familiar and gentle wakening.
The tap for filtered water runs sharp from a narrow opening in the faucet, and its force makes a loud rattle as it fills the teakettle. I run just enough to make two cups. The heating kettle is noisy, clattering echoes into tremolos and finally, as the water comes to a boil, a low fast blubble before the kettle shuts itself off. I pour it over tea in a porcelain cup, then savor the aromatics released by the very hot water.
Sunshine across the wood floors brings out the dull patches of dust, which I first sweep, then damp-mop. Now the floors gleam. Everything washed down is freshened. Very little cannot somehow be washed and made better for it, and clean surfaces seem to move the air around them. I pull a fresh-laundered linen shirt from the washing machine and hang it up to dry. It looks clean and beautiful, and I look forward to wearing it.
I tilt my head back to rinse my hair under the shower, warm and aerated to make the most of very little. The water pounds on my shoulders and I relax, steam releasing the scents in a simple bar of soap. I feel as if I could stand under the spray for hours, washing away the day’s dirt and tensions.
The afternoon sun is warm and makes the garden a pleasant place to sit. I nibble on crackers and sip from a tumbler of cold water.
All this because I live where water can be had.