Friday, January 18, 2008

watery blessings

This evening I found myself washing our dishes by hand, as the first hint of a cool change breathed its way into the kitchen.

Our dishwasher sprang a leak this morning, flooding the kitchen floor with sepia tinted water.

So tonight I was standing at the kitchen sink, wrist-deep in hot, soapy water, meditating on the tactile pleasure of sloshing dishes to and fro through the bubbles, a childlike joy not often felt in these days of dishwashers.

Well, I was meditating on the simple pleasure of washing dishes. But after filling the sink a third time for yet more dishes (sorry drought) and drying the fourth dish rack full of wet dishes with a damp tea towel (6 people can produce a lot of dirty dishes in 2 days) the simple pleasure of owning a dishwasher became more apparent.

But who am I to complain, for playing with a sink full of dishes is the only form of water play left to us. My children won't grow up with memories of leaping squealing through needle-sharp spray from a sprinkler and landing in lush green grass, splashing their feet in a kiddie pool filling slowly from a garden hose, and running screaming in mock panic from a water pistol. Their outdoor summer memories will involve prickly yellow grass, dying plants, and over-heated concrete.

For water is no longer to be played with (except in the bath) and is now limited to the necessities of life (or at least what we consider to be life's bare necessities): clean dishes, clean clothes and clean bodies. Also life's real necessities: the provision of food and drink.

Of course, we can still water our gardens using a (remarkably ineffective) dripper system, but who remembers to water their garden between the hours of 6 and 8 am every Tuesday and Saturday? Not me. But perhaps I'm lacking in commitment.

Indeed, so limited has water become that dead pot plants are now a badge of honour. We have 2 large, dead pot plants standing proudly in front of our house, proclaiming to any interested persons that no, we don't water our garden on non-watering days, in fact, we no longer water it much at all really.

But how privileged I am, in the midst of a drought, to be able to shrivel my hands in sink after sink full of hot, soapy water, flood the kitchen floor, and use the dishwasher to my heart's content (once it's fixed, anyway, and only when full, of course).

So with the cool change sweeping into the house on a welcome wind, and the sweet smell of rain on dusty ground drifting through open windows, I find myself grateful for watery blessings: soapy water, dishwashers, and summer rain.

1 comment:

Rachael said...

Jean, have a look here for proof of how wet it's been up here!