The Delta wind danced through the meadow today, leaving a fine silt across everything in my writing loft. The china angels hold out their hands in prayer. Their eternally reverent eyes offer only a hint of reproach. I left the window open last night.
The park in which I live continues to repair and update its water system. Outages have leveled out. The water sputters to a halt at 9:00 p.m. and restarts at six in the morning. When I got home from work tonight and tested the taps, I grabbed my phone and sent a message up and down the tiny house row: Water! Noah texted back a grand hooray! I guess I should take a shower, he chortled, followed by a goofy emoticon. You never saw a bunch of grown-ups happier about anything so mundane.
I’ve never been one for drinking city water and I don’t do it here. Liter bottles already adorned a shelf in my kitchen. Now I have gallon jugs, too; courtesy of the park and ready for dishes or a quick tooth-scrub. I plan my days around the water cut-off schedule. We only have to endure this for another week and I intend to make it without cracking. I have a friend with a shower in town which helps. I shan’t complain. The upgrades will improve our lives.
This episode has got me ruminating over the parts of the world that scramble for clean water every day. While I’m shuffling two dollar bottles of the fancy stuff, hundreds of thousands of children have no access to any clean water. Illness, lack of hygiene, social exclusion, and crippling dehydration plague nations where the poor must walk an hour from their village to fill jugs or bathe. I stop at the grocery store on the way home from work and a pleasant teenager carries my plastic containers to the car.
Nine o’clock passes and the pipes fall silent. I fretted for the first few days, but I’m used to the rhythm now; and the end of this mild inconvenience draws near. I’ll be in the city this weekend, where the endlessness of the Pacific stands as an eternal reminder of my bountiful existence. I feel lucky. How could I not? My belly rumbles with the fullness of dinner. The dishes dry in the drain basket. Food chills in the fridge just steps from the kettle and packets of my favorite tea. On the counter, carafes await the merest suggestion of thirst. The wind has calmed and the dust in the air has settled in the stillness of my tiny house. In this moment, I want for nothing.
It’s the twentieth day of the seventy-first month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.