In Saint Croix, however, the rainclouds appear to stay mainly above my house. It’s supposedly the “dry season” here on island, but we get dumped on at least twice a day. This might be due to my mad Rain Dancing abilities, or simply the area in which we live. But regardless, we are lucky.
Yes, water is a precious commodity here on island. Which sounds so strange: we are surrounded by water yet it is so strictly conserved by the inhabitants. Regardless, my family gets our entire water supply from the rain that is captured in the cistern pipes (UV filtered, that’s a big score) atop our house . It is then heated by the solar panels on our roof. So far we have yet to run out, but it is a looming threat. If you run dry you have to resort to ordering your water, and then a truck delivers it for all the neighbors to see and scoff at you and your shitty conservation skills.
I’m a rain lover by my Floridian pedigree, especially love a good night shower. But my love has taken on a new shape since my move to STX. Now when I hear the pitter-patter of little raindrops, I think “Ahhh, I can take a shower for 5 minutes instead of 3 today!” and “Heck yah, that’s like two loads of laundry!”
Chris is a natural at this water conservation business. He has actually mastered the art of the “Caribbean Shower.” In other words he turns the shower on so he’s fully saturated, then turns it off. Soaps up, then turns it back on. Then out he goes. I have not brought myself to the point of the Caribbean Shower yet, but I do move as quickly as possible. Gone are the days of languorous soaks in a huge garden tub. A friend of mine back home told me she took a 30 minute shower and I could no longer wrap my mind around it. In fact, I’m actually buying a container to capture the next deluge so that I can fill up the kids’ baby pool without guilt. Times, they are a’changin’.
Before I moved here I thought that the whole cistern bit and having to be so miserly about your water would be a huge pain in the ass. It sort of is, but the other side of the coin is that I feel much more connected to this precious resource. It is no longer just something that I assume will always flow from the faucet the minute I need to wash a dish. And it doesn’t come from “somewhere”. It comes from the sky, when the sky feels gracious enough.
Yes, it is sad that it took me 32 years to really feel connected to the resource that does the minor job of sustaining all life and life processes, but I’m trying to make up for it. Now when it rains, I strip the kids down and we all run outside.
They love it, and I chase them around with soap so I can count it as their shower for the day (ok, more like every other day.) Win-win.