A song bird still sings...despite our water shortage.

As I left the house the other day, I heard a bird. Not the normal caw caw of a crow, or the squawk of a seagull. This was a song bird. I'm not sure I've ever heard a songbird in Alameda, out in the wide open spaces and in between the houses!

It sounded so lovely. I tried to find where it was, but the hedge was too high or the roof covering next door was providing a hiding space for it.

I immediately was taken back to New Zealand. My daughter, Sutter, knew the songs each bird sang and identified the bird. And I'm sure her husband, Sean, was the one who taught her. When I was last in NZ I came to appreciate those songs. I imagine that whether the birds are happy or sad...they just sing no matter what! I preferred that thought, truth or not.

Just prior to hearing that bird, I was walking down the porch steps and wondering what more I could do to save water around here.

Saying I won't bath/shower is a lie. So I don't say that. But I have reduced my water intake.

-The yard watering has been reduced by 25%.

-I don't flush the toilet if I don't have company. I follow the adage of 1976 (the last major drought we went through)..."If it's yellow let it mellow. If it's brown flush it down."

-I keep reminding myself that I'm sailing to Hawaii on an Express 37  in 1987, with my 5 best boyfriends (Carl being my BFF). How wonderful it felt to be on the stern and quickly hosing off the salt and washing my hair.That happened every 3 days, I believe. It changed my attitude and made me at peace with the circumstances, good or bad.

-Today, I turn off the shower when I'm soaping up myself or my hair. Then I quickly rinse it off. Then I turn it off.

-When I don't shower, I no longer wait for the water to get warm from the faucet. I fill up the tea kettle and put it on the gas stove. Then I do quick chores while the water heats up. I know the sound the kettle makes when it just hot enough and I pour the water it into a cereal bowl (sans cereal) in the kitchen sink, over a cold washcloth.

It's almost too hot for me to hold the washcloth in my hands...but once it cools for a few seconds, I put the cloth over my face, like a barber does for his clients. Then I proceed to use 10-0-6 on my face, followed by Neutrogena face moisturizer.

-Today I took an plastic take-home-leftovers container, and decided I could fill that up, then empty that container into a bucket. That would have been water down the drain, literally! I've been in the (thoughtless) habit of turning on the faucet to get to the warm water. My bad.

-Today I saw that either the water company or the city was watering the street leading to the golf course. Wha' up with that? Next time I will contact somebody somewhere about why the street is wet without rain.

And then I thought about the song bird. I was so glad that I had heard it. I hoped I would hear it again. And I smiled. Good or bad, the song birds sing. What a great way to live a life. I should practice that.

Live richly, marilyn


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