That line is taken from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which I have not read. One of the many things on my to-do list.
But on to why I chose that as the title of this post. While of the 70% of the earth's surface is covered with water, and only something like 1% is potable.
I'm not even talking about that right now. I'm talking about hot water.
Now, I live in an apartment, with a small water-heater tucked under my kitchen sink. That's a far cry from the large one my parents had, or the behemoth the dorms in college must have had. It also means that running out of hot water happens more often than I care to think.
Last weekend, due to some maintenance that had been done on our sink, we were out of hot water. No showers, no dishes... It was not fun. (Turns out that the maintenance people had simply forgotten to turn something back on.) When the water came back on, I needed a shower, but waited for the tank to fill and heat.
Even after waiting, I was worried that I'd be shocked cold during my final rinse. While a cold water rinse might be good for hair and skin, a surprise like that would not be good for my mood! So, I squeezed soap onto my loofah, and put conditioner in my hair, and turned off the water. Braided the conditioner in, lathered up, and then turned the water back on, all the while thinking about how this would not only save the hot water, but conserve water in general.
Conserving water in general also means that our water bill will be lower.
So, a simple adjustment to my routine, turning off the water when I'm not actually using it will benefit me threefold: 1) ensure that I have enough hot water to meet my needs, (2) cut down my overall water usage, and therefore water bill and (3) help conserve the potable water supplies.
Last night, the unthinkable happened. I ran out of hot water in the middle of my shower. I had not been following my own advice about turning off the water, so I was standing there, conditioner braided and loosely bunned in my hair, and, well, ready to rinse off, with no hot water. So, I turned off the shower.
I tried. I really tried to rinse with cold water, but it was icy, and the ambient temperature of our apartment is around 65 degrees. Not cold, but not all that warm, either, not when you are already chilled.
I rinsed what I could in the cold (like the loofah), and waited.
After a few minutes, I tried the hot water again. Hallelujah! It wasn't as warm as I usually like, but it was warm enough, and I rinsed everything out quick!
During this whole ordeal, I remembered my revelation from the previous weekend, and kicked myself a bit for not listening to myself. But, with an eye ever-forward, I realized that I couldn't change what I had done, but could change what I will do.
So, I'm going to try to employ this water on/water off method more regularly. Will you?