likely, it’s linked back to some prehistoric inclination toward splashing under the waterfall. certainly it’s among the earliest playthings of any young babe afloat in the sink. i’ve seen many a toddler get lost in the gee-whizardry of making a fountain out of a faucet, the plain old kitchen-sink kind, the kind that when blocked with a thumb sends water arcing every which way, drenching the whole darn countertop and half the floor besides.
so it is with human thumbs and narrow spouts for water: they’re inseparable. you can’t keep from playing.
and so it was that i found myself out not-stopping this morn.
i’d only meant to crank the spigot, drop down the snake of a hose, let the wide-open O dribble and drool for awhile, fill up the gullet of all those poor thirsty things in my over-parched garden.
but then, well, the whoosh of the water wooed me, pulled me in, wouldn’t let me go, held me in a waterlogged trance.
it was just after dawn, and the day ahead promised to pull me every which way (much like the geysers of water), and to tell the truth, i had no sensible reason to be cooling my thumbs playing with the hose.
but there i was: unable to stop.
i was putting about, offering a quick dribble here, a long drink there, making like some sort of bar maid pulling back on the spout of the keg, filling the mouths of my in-need-of-a-tall-one stool-spanning patrons.
and that’s when i felt it: the whole gritty grime of the long jumbled week, just rinsing away.
the more i played with the hose, the lighter i felt.
there is nothing, i’d like to suggest, more soothing for a parched tattered soul than to while away the morning, at play with the hose. thumb on the spout, preferred.
oh, it had been a week all right. let’s see where shall we start: how bout tuesday? the day my tall fellow’s back went kerpluey (or splat; i can’t say as i heard the precise mechanical breakdown, all i heard was the odd cry of my name, the beckoning from above, shortly after dawn, just as i was about to scurry out the door to the worktrain, and, after some searching about, i discovered the long, lanky fellow quite flat on the floor).
egad. but that’s merely the start.
later that very day, just as dusk set in on a faraway riverbank, the young rower of mine called to say he’d been pickpocketed, a most unfortunate phone call that shattered the already-not-so-calm evening.
egad. just warming up here.
by next day, a fine locksmith was making our acquaintance, as he went about the business of changing eight locks to keep the tomfoolers away. (the pickpockets snatched the housekey along with the few dollar bills.)
oh, and then did i mention a house filled with houseguests? why, yes. a fine old gradeschool friend of said flat-on-his-back fellow arrived with his flock just after the locksmith let himself out. (might i add that a full seven of us shared one wee bath with a spritzy ol’ shower, for two nights and three days. rub-a-dub-dub. hmm, perhaps i should have hauled in the hose….or insisted on showers out back by the spigot…why in the world wasn’t i thinking?)
oh, it was a week all right. a week that had me driving hither and yon, once with a back patient supine in the flat back of the wagon. another time, rescuing the freshly wallet-less rower not far from the scene of the crime.
and then there was the unexpected jaunt to the airport to pick up what was left of said wallet; found not long after pickpocketing, it turned out, tossed aside on a runaway el train, one that pulled to a stop at the airport, where the wallet was scooped up and locked in a safe, there at the end of the line, till i could drive out to claim it.
which brings us, at last, to the hose, and the dawn of another hot sauna day, and the chilled spilling waters that lulled me away to a faraway place, the land of the tranquil, the fiefdom of the wholly un-frazzled.
it’s a knack i believe i picked up via pure DNA. my mama, she wields quite a hose, is armed with a thumb that’s a heck of a squirter; broad and flat, it gets right down to business.
fact is, i’m third-generation thumber. i needn’t even close my eyelids to see my grandma lucille in her fine summer frock, and her heels, out thumbing the hose all over her beds.
i’ve heard it said that the thumb and the hose are the tightest pair a gardener might ever employ.
beats any spigot or sprinkler. wallops a watering can.
why, with your thumb you can aim this way or that. you can spray. you can spritz.
you can get up close to the delicate fronds of the fern, or pour forth on the trunk of a maple.
you can steer clear of the bee, play chase with the robins.
you can get lost in all the water games. forget that you’d wandered into the garden loaded down with a week’s worth of worry and grit.
it’s what happened to me just hours ago, when i set forth with my hose and my thumbs, the two of ‘em.
and now, at the close of a long hot string of worrisome. wearisome days, my garden is humming, and so are me and those thumbs.
i barely had three seconds to write today, and likely it shows. oh well. so much for those fine-laid plans. tis summer. barely a minute to breathe.
anyone else live to splash in the water???