The Water Element
Water has such a wonderful effect on me in many ways. Like many of you, I try hard to get enough water in at any season, but the hotter it gets the harder it becomes for me to drink enough! Does that sound familiar? It sure seems pretty contradictory to me. Shouldn’t it be easier to drink more the more the body’s natural air conditioning is working, if you know what I mean?
I learned a few tricks though. In summer my drinks better be cool, not ice-cold, just cool, and they better have some taste to them. Plain water seems to be too boring at this time of the year, go figure. I used to add syrups, but now with my little garden, I made sure to plant some herbs that can also be used to make teas or just be added to cold water. Right now, for example, I am drinking a tea made from the lemonade plant I have in my garden that I stored in the fridge overnight. I was surprised by how green it turned out to be, it reminded me of the color of a woodruff drink I used to love as a child. The taste is delicious despite being hard to describe, but there is definitely something anise-like in the background. Other times I just stick a bunch of the herbs, mint, lemon balm, roman chamomile, etc. in a jug and let it sit for a while to infuse the water with their aromatic oils. Can you tell how much fun I am having trying out all the different combinations and manners of use of my garden herbs?
When I was a child my mother taught me how to cool down the quick and simple way: by having the coldest water you can stand run down your arm and legs making sure to get most of it on your arm and knee bends. It works like a charm to this day, especially as my apartment tends to heat up and the dream of having a pool in the garden has not fulfilled itself yet!
Another effect water has on me can almost be called therapeutic. Again, back when I was a child my mother would take me swimming once a week. I learned how to properly swim and all, but to this day what I enjoy the most being in the water is diving, making handstands and such. It makes me feel alive and playful. It brings out my inner child and I love that. But it’s not just being in the water, sitting next to it is sometimes all it takes. I remember going on a vacation to Tuscany with a friend once. We went there by car and since she is a photographer we made sure to stop at beautiful sights so she could work her magic. One of the stops was when we first came to the Ligurian Sea. I sat down on the huge rocks that led into the water and enjoyed the scenery while my friend took off. As she came back after approximately thirty minutes she gave me an astonished look: “What have you been doing in the meantime?” “Sitting here taking in the scenery. Why?” “You look so relaxed as if you were on vacation for a week or two!” That’s when I learned how soothing being by the ocean is for me, which makes the dream I had ever since I was a teenager of living at the beach even more obvious.
And I just thought of how watering my plants has become the closing ritual of each day this season. Doing that yet again is soothing and helps me come back to my senses. Summer and water – for me that’s a perfect combination!