It caught me by surprise last night; a sense-memory so strong it transcended time.


Sipping well water from a silvery dipper, dented and pocked, drawn from a bucket that had plunged into midnight deep, a mystery as fresh and wonderful to me as new birth.  I imagine it is poured from the very hand of God, icy and tinny and pure.

To a city girl this is country magic.

Just like a thousand shades of white, water has taste; it is from the belly of a poor man's country well, I have found the best.  Nothing tapped or bottled or filtered comes close but that doesn't stop them from trying forever after.

Or me, buying.

Something reminds me of this and, at the same time, my silver goblets.  What a peculiar juxtaposition I think.

Twelve silver goblets and a dozen more tiny cordials, delicately etched precious metal.  I think it's plate.  Wouldn't sterling be heavier?  It makes no difference because they were a gift from a stranger I never met.  They cost me nothing and yet they're priceless.

Twenty-four silver goblets, a gift from a stranger I never met–it sounds ludicrous no matter how many times I think it!  An acquaintance of my husband's, purging for a move to another country, needing to get rid of stuff, asked him if his wife (me) might want them.  

It really wasn't a question, now was it?




So these two thoughts tumble into mind and suddenly I'm thirsty.   

But it's not water I'm longing, it is everything that it touches.

My roots.

My youth.

Elusive memory.

My mother's unknown-to-me history.

Soul cottonmouthed, I crave what I can never have.  Sometimes that's just the way it is.

Which is fine and I accept it, if for no other reason than rejecting this truth is folly.  Chasing wind is futile.

So, how to quench this thirst?  

I reach for a silver goblet–now badly tarnished and in need of polish–and fill it to the rim with refrigerated, filtered water from my tap.  And I gulp it down and fill it again.

Satisfied, I pick up my pen. 


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