Even though I have a sprinkler system in my yard, I still have to water parts of the yard with a hose and sprinkler. I enjoy watching the water, and it is cheaper to run than the sprinkler system itself. I use an oscillating sprinkler, the one with the bow that moves back and forth, watering essentially a square.
This time of the year it is hard to keep up as it is so dry. I often will start the sprinkler in the morning and then just enjoy my coffee and listen to the drops. The birds enjoy the water as well, even though they have a bird bath in the same yard. There is something about the water that they really like. There is a fig tree, which is more like a bush, in the yard; the birds get in there and let the water fall on them. The large leaves of the fig tree hold water and sometimes will create a small wet spot for the birds. I am not quite sure if the birds realize that this is not really rain. Perhaps they think it is one of those “isolated” showers we often hear about.
Some birds will stay for quite some time, just bathing or whatever else they do. I guess the cool water feels good to them in the middle of summer, just as it did when I was a kid. In the summer we often spent most of the daylight hours outside. Sometimes we were treated to the luxury of a sprinkler. Either at home or perhaps at a favorite aunt’s house, one of the adults would grant us the thrill of cool water to play in. We often shed our inhibitions and played endlessly in the water without a second thought, even “au naturel” at times when we were really young.
Of course, as we grew older, playing in the sprinkler was just something “children” did. Perhaps deep down we wanted to cool off and have fun again, but our tremendous fear of embarrassment kept us dry and hot. By the time we became teenagers, “playing” in the water was beyond us. We would rather stand there burning up than to give in and run through the cooling waters.
There was a long list of things that were no longer “cool” for teenagers to do. What else did we miss out on because we thought it was beneath us? Now as I look back, running through the sprinkler was one of those childhood memories that meant something. Those incredibly hot days in the middle of summer and getting the privilege to cool off after a day of being outside. And often, if we were really lucky, this could count towards our bath for the day.
Like all good little boys, a bath was never on the list of things we wanted to do. We tried to reason our way out of it, claiming that we didn’t sweat or hadn’t played too hard that day, when actually we probably smelled worse than a wet dog. However, the hour of playing in the sprinkler was certainly enough to forgo a bath; we were obviously much cleaner than before and suitable for bed, which we didn’t think required a bath. And besides, the next day would be a repeat of this day, so a bath every day was just a waste of water and soap.
As I watch the birds enjoy the dripping water, I sometimes wish I could just move my chair out into the lawn and let the cool water wash away the summer heat. I mean, I have a privacy fence so no one would laugh at me, but then again my neighbors might think it was a splendid way to cool off and try it for themselves. Is it too juvenile for me to frolic in the water just as the birds are doing? Maybe they have the right idea. They certainly don’t care if I laugh at them; they do care when I finally cut the water off. I might just give that a try one afternoon. I would have to figure a way to keep my laptop dry so I could write about my experience.