I am watching the poolbank from the shade of a friendly tree. I will take my drink later. It is rimmed with people now, some kneeling transfixed, some dipping long handled small spoons into the deepest currents for cold water so sweet they near faint with the tasting and with the working of so unwieldy a spoon. Here is a man walking by me. His cup is broad and he will carry water to many mouths in the village beyond the beach. I wonder whether the water is hot by the time he will arrive. But he looks calm. He drinks his fill as he replenishes the cup.
There are those, of course, who race between the pool and the town, slinging bucket over shoulder to slosh into the common trough, water that is tepid and sometimes pulled from stagnant puddles on the way. Even the most uncouth is warmly welcomed in the town. Water must be brought to drink or we all would die. And although any could come to the pool himself, drink and then return, we pay the water bearers to bring it to us. We believe that, heralded and rewarded as they come, their water is better than ours whose cup is not a basin any lip can fit, or leaks too much to reach the town. There have been those with long jars, but I don’t see one now- one that can reach the deepest current, rise full, carry cool and pour out to every mouth the thing we need for life.
Indeed, even the tree that shades me now drinks from the deep still pool we all adore, and leaning here I taste the water in the scent of its green bark. And I will drink also. Cool and sweet and long. My cup is mine. If no mouth other touches it, it is still my good cup. It is the water that I love.