Mindfulness by the Bucket

We’ve disconnected our kitchen sink from the sewer system. It didn’t take much – just a matter of unscrewing a couple of PVC fittings. Now, instead of being but a drop in the eighty million gallon bucket that is the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati, our dish-washing water slowly fills up a five gallon bucket. When it’s full, we find other ways to use that water.

This practice has reduced the house’s water consumption by about thirty gallons per week. But it’s a little more difficult to put a number to how much it has benefited me in other ways. Doing dishes had always been a mindless task. I would even look forward to it as such. There’s nothing quite like repetitively washing junk off stuff to quickly transport oneself to a state of relaxation and disengagement. But now, the trickling of water into the bucket serves as a constant reminder that what I’m doing is work, the resource I’m using is a gift, and this kitchen isn’t what it was built a hundred years ago to be, but rather what we decide it is today.

I moved into this house for a lot of reasons, but as the months go by I’m realizing that what I value most is the opportunity to practice being present – to do whatever it is I’m doing with all my might. And while part of me may miss those mini holidays at the kitchen sink, a bigger part of me delights in having found a few more minutes in my day to spend in the now.