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Mishaps can happen, too, like falling over sideways on snowshoes into a deep drift, with two full jugs to tend to. Watch her squirm! Or once, dropping the bucket into the spring, I got a chance to practice my lifesaving skills by performing a quick rescue act with a long stick. But mostly it is pleasant and serene to be a woman living in this space age when all things are possible, living for just a moment of every day as if none of the modern world had ever happened.
Carrying Water as a Way of Life
Then I came, and rearranged the jumbled top layer of large flat stones, ones you can stand or sit on to gaze into the water. I built a pole and bucket well sweep like the ancient Chinese. One spruce pole, with a bucket on the end, hangs down from another horizontal pole that Nike Vapormax Flyknit Racer
its past and future, compressed into the moment of hauling up the water that sustains me. Here I am, who studied in universities and lived in towns and cities, who visited museums and concert halls and discussed the existence of God; who struggled and breezed through thirty years, headed for this place, this day, this two gallon bucket of water that will fill my cells and wash my face, that will carry me through to the next performance of this act.
My body becomes my pony, faithful little feet, strong limbs that do the job day after day. I cease to be involved in it at all. I am the motor behind the work, the woman carrying water. The water's source is not me, but that hole in the ground where I am privileged to share in streams running deep. I dip into earth's bounty. I lift life to the surface, and I am washed clean.
It's the rhythm, the rhythm I dance to. Jugs and buckets and basins do their job. I am the carrier, the drinker, the washer. It is a choice. I could as easily turn on a faucet in a city apartment and let the water do the running. But here I am. This is my life, and it feels good to me.
Like the ancient Chinese, I live by the symbol of the well that never changes. Each day I lower the bucket into the water, feeling whatever I feel that day, seeing whatever I see. Water is the inner reality, and up it comes, pure and clear, no matter what the day may bring.
And what thoughts I have, down at the spring drawing water! I see my life, with all Nike Air Vapormax Flyknit Midnight Fog/Multicolor/Black
Yes, it's inconvenient, in practical terms. How much easier it is not to think about the water you use. To open the faucet and let her run, this is a glory of another life. My life is small, the drops are measurable, the thirst quenchable. And yes, I could wish that the spring were up the hill from home, so that, like Jack and Jill, I could come running down when the jugs were full. But the spring is where it is, down in the vale, a stone cool grove spiced with the scent of fern and rock and water. I walk uphill Nike Vapormax Be True to the house, steady, my arms hanging straight from my shoulders as they are made to do, weighted by forty Nike Vapormax Gray
pounds of water.
I love water. I savor the rich clear taste, rock and moss the delicate flavoring of my daily drink. I would no sooner throw out a half cup of clean water than I would discard the last of a fine old wine. The water is sacred to me. I am a vessel, preserving.
pivots in a crotched cedar post. A heavy stone weights the far end of the horizontal pole, counterbalancing the full bucket as it comes up out of the spring.
The act carries me out my door and down across the grass, through the garden, and into a low secluded corner of my field. There, the men of this place two hundred years ago dug a wide hole ten feet deep, reaching down to a vein of water. They rocked up the hole with an intricate circle of stones, the wall fully four feet thick. Years let the grass grow back over most of it.
I carry water from a rock walled spring to my house every day. This is not anything to brag about. It is simply a matter of fact.
Not just the act of carrying water engages me, but the way of life that goes with that act. I am aware of water, of drops and dowsings. To live with a quantity of daily water that I am willing to carry, I must live simply. My meals can't be too complex, for the clean up goes on in a small basin of water. All washings are recyclings. The water that rinses my hair can clean my feet. The water that moistens bean sprouts can wash my face. The water that scrubs potatoes can feed the house plants. Vegetable cooking water goes into the soup. Leftover herb tea gives me a refreshing mouthwash.
In winter there's more to it, this hauling of water. Bundled up, on snowshoes, I track my way across the blank field. The hypnosis of following my own path day after day opens me to a wide white world of rabbit tracks and pine grosbeaks, wild etchings in the snow and sky. Before big storms I stock up on water, then settle in and let the good times roll. After the storm, I go into my comic routine, the awkward act, on snowshoes, of shovelling out the counterweight from under the snow so I can lower the boom. The bucket breaks the thin layer of ice that forms overnight like a protective membrane. Up comes ice water, and it is my ritual on such days to gaze at the world through shards of the finest, clearest pane I ever saw.
The lowering and raising of the bucket centers me. All thoughts become purified in the clear stream of water as it swirls through the funnel into a jug. This is my existence. Here is where I am.
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