"The Wondering Jew"
May. 19, 2002 - 17:25 MDT
THE WONDERING JEW
Water And Self
Whatever kinky quirk there is about water I think a boy growing up is prone to explore at one time or another and he tends to go far out.
Water, soap, washrag and Mom's fingers were dreaded assaults on my dignity and besides it was damn uncomfortable. Yet, I still remember jumping into puddles in my regular shoes to see the splash and ignoring the discomfort of wet shoes and socks for as long as it took to wear out my playtime.
There would come a time of year when puddles would skim over with ice and I would repeat the jumping on puddles to break the ice and then stomp the water. Later in the year there would be a stretch of sidewalk by the school where diligent schoolboys (including me when I grew a bit) would do whatever necessary to make an ice slide. Each day it would be groomed and if possible lengthened. What a way to start the day. Stand in line waiting my turn, a short run as fast as I could go, hitting the ice just so, left foot forward with right foot the lagging outrigger seeing how fast and far as I could slide. Cold air whizzing up my nostrils was nature's astringent to me. It took quite a time for me to learn to stand up the full course and it surely hurt when I fell on the hard slide. Chuckle, by the time I became proficient, life and self had moved on and the ice slide forgotten until remembered just now.
Snow balls -- mayhem by kiddies. Starting out a gentle, just for fun kind of thing which often escalates into hurts and tears. I enjoyed some, pulled out of others. Snow men, a pastime enjoyed by us when the snow was deep and wet enough that it could be rolled into big globs. That was a fun pastime if more than one of us was doing it.
There would come a time when the snow started melting and the runoff rushing down the gutters to the storm drains, that my shoes again were sodden and unnoticed until wet socks would rub salient points super sore. For me it was a time of rejoicing as Spring was nearing. There could be a few wet, heavy snows but they melted off soon.
Water stays with us year around in some form or another, its absence, drought is sheer torture to man and the land. I remember the gentle spring rains, light, steady which washed the earth and set free that wonderful smell of green life. I loved to walk in that as long as I stayed reasonably dry. Then on towards summer I remember standing at our west window with my Dad at night when thunderstorms would light the sky and assault the ears with thunder and rain would drum loudly on the roof and audibly on the dirt. After a rain the world appeared to me to be fresh washed and smelled that way too. Shortly after a rain would start would come the smell of wet sidewalks and streets.
I finally grew to like baths and luxuriated in shower baths, it was a lot better than bathing in a galvanized wash tub. Washing my hands became a choice of mine rather than an order from above.
I returned to where I think my species started when I learned to swim. Swimming has been a lifetime pleasure for me and I still paddle around in the pool at our complex. One of my pleasant memories is at an Ofuru (sp) in Japan. A large room with a pool of warm to hot water, bordered by a tile floor where taps were available every so often, buckets, soap etc. Wash and rinse first, then go into the pool and soak. That seemed to be a bit of common sense, go clean into the pool and relax in the hot water.
I remember working in a power plant as a water analyst where I learned more about water than than Yogi's averrage Bear. In passing, one thing of interest, absolutely pure water will not conduct electricity.
I have gone swimming in ponds, lakes, rivers and the sea and for the most part felt at home where I belonged.
I also know that water can be a very cruel thing. Making people homeless during floods, some of those people losing the homes and income they had before and often not being able to rise to that level ever again.
Who could ever argue that a long, cold drink of clear water isn't about the best thing there is on a hot summer's day.
I have lived in it, on it, by it -- what better match could there be but Water And Self . . . . . . . . .0 comments so far