Water mindfulness

The hot water heater is in the garage, and the closest faucet is in kitchen, yet it takes 5+ minutes for the water in the sink to get hot enough to wash dishes. It’s faster to get hot water into the master bathroom shower, all the way across the house – the opposite corner from the garage!

The time it takes to get hot water to the sink in the master bathroom is almost as long as to the kitchen. None of this makes any sense to me. Why does it take so long for the water at the closest location to the water heater to be hot? Why does the shower get hot water before the bathroom sink? Plumbing should be pretty straight forward, right? Straight pipes whenever possible, so straight forward. I don’t get it. Hot water in the shower, but not in the sinks.

As I was waiting for hot water to arrive to my sink last night so I could wash off mascara and makeup and the day, I held the fingers of my left hand under the running water. I stood there with my fingers and my thumb, but not my entire hand, seeing and feeling the water pour over them. I thought what a great time to practice mindfulness – simply notice what I feel and describe it. But how do I describe water? Just try.

It’s a smooth, silky, soft, slippery slender stream coming from the faucet to my hand. It’s warm (not yet hot). It cascades over one finger at a time. Before it falls off the last finger, it converges on my pinkie and becomes a narrow single stream again, looking as it does from the faucet to my fingers, before it gently splays into the basin and becomes a shiny surface. It gathers at the drain and disappears.

But does that describe it? And then I thought of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, and wondered about the miracle of the language breakthrough, as Helen suddenly understood what Anne was trying to communicate. The trepidation, the excitement, the joy that must have broken over them separately but simultaneously. Helen so eager to know words for everything, Anne delighted yet knowing there was so much more to be taught. Now my focus was off the water and running down the story from a childhood book.

Wait. Bring my thoughts back to the water. Ahh, it’s hot enough to wash my face now. Time for bed.

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