Catching Water

Someone once said that you can tell a lot about a person's character by the way they handle three things: a rainy holiday, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

My character measurement tools are loss of water with which to bathe, or loss of electricity in the middle of a favorite program.

A shower has its adherents; mainly as a quick way to get clean under the pressure of getting to work on time, or after a strenuous workout. And in a tropical climate, like here in Panama, there's nothing like a refreshing, cool shower.

However, there's nothing quite like a soothing soak in the bathtub, submerging oneself until only the nose can be seen. A divine experience that requires that all the ingredients are available--bathing gloves to gently scour my fatigued body, scented candles to enrapture my senses, fluffy towels to dry my moist skin, bath oils, body butter, house sox, t-strap nightie, pleasurable reading material, and delightful music.

The tub stopper is in place, water pump is switched on, faucets are opened. . . .NOTHING. Except the gurgling sound of leftover drops of water in the pipes, too weak to even drip.

Luckily, I haven't completely undressed. Down the stairs to the front door; open the gate enough to lean out and ask a neighbor: "Hay agua? Por que no hay agua? "

"No se!"

Maybe the water will be back tomorrow. In the meantime, past experience has taught me to catch water in empty five-gallon paint buckets. The luxurious bath I had anticipated has now become a bucket bath, using a one-liter bottle to scoop water from the bucket to pour over my body, as I sit on another bucket turned upside down. First the important parts--armpits, front and back nether regions are scrubbed clean, then the surplus to deal with face, neck, legs, arms, thighs, and feet.

Fast forward to six months later: I've had one of my 250-gallon water tanks moved to a platform 20-feet high to provide water flow from gravity. So, no more bucket baths, unless I forget to fill the tank when water comes in from the street.


I never take water for granted. I've learned to catch water and conserve it for many different uses.

I've become confident in adapting to different situations.

I've come to appreciate what is important, and what's not worth losing sleep over.

I am grateful for each opportunity to grow and expand my acceptance of this incredible Universe's gifts.

Mi Sueno Vivo