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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mikveh

When Charlotte converted to Judaism on Sex in the City, During a self-imposed study of world religions, I learned about the Mikveh.

A Mikveh, according to Rabbi Wikipedia, is a pool of natural water used to, "... regain ritual purity after various events, according to regulations laid down in the Torah and in classical rabbinical literature."

I'm not going to pretend to know anything more than that (although I welcome the insights of those who do). I attest, though, that water can indeed heal.

When the boys and I went to the pool yesterday, they weren't thinking of my impatient, "Owen, get in the car seat right now!" or my mumbled, "Joel could you be more annoying?"

No. Through the ritual cleansing of water and chlorine, they became more fun, and I became less testy.

Magic stuff, that water.

Owen did his awkward little frog-paddle, bravely dipping his head underwater, and saying, "Mommy! Did you see what I did? Aren't I very brave?"

"Yes," I said, "You are super-duper brave." He paddled off to do it again, as I watched Joel jump onto a little fountain, shrieking with joy, his face a perfect, yellow daisy.

In the water, it's so easy to love these boys. Perhaps it's because I have to be so cautious. There's no text messages or magazines or phone calls. There's no gossip, no blogging, no bitch sessions. It's just us.

Focused. Present.

I think I need a Mikveh  in my house. Since I bathe and shower only periodically, that won't do.

Perhaps if every time I wash my hands, I attempt to shed away distractions, I will enjoy my children more. I will regain my pure love and my best intentions.

Or, perhaps I will develop Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Like most things regarding faith, one person's reality is another person's  hoo-hah.

But this I know: When I toweled off those boys, and we drove home, pruny and soft-skinned, we were at peace. I felt the spirit of love in that car as surely as I feel the keyboard beneath my fingers.

And so, I will continue to seek the water.

21 comments:

FabuLeslie said...

Amen, Sister! As a Pisces, I am very drawn to water, and I can't get enough... those ions moving just the right way help me feel peaceful and calm. Of course, they kinda make me have to pee sometimes, too, but I like to focus on the calm.

Aunt of 14 said...

I totally know what you're talking about. I won't pretend to understand the real definition of a mekvah, but I think a friend told me you go to this special place where there's a mekvah and there you wash away your frustrations, troubles, negativity, etc. I like the concept. and I love your comparation to swimming! :)

Muliebrity said...

I wish the white-trash water park (kiddie pool) worked that kind of magic! Where were all these wonderful pools when I lived there? The public pools don't open here till 1pm, also known as nap-time.

Beth Zimmerman said...

That was beautiful, Nancy! I pray that you will have many more opportunities to enjoy the water's sweet embrace in these heated days of summer!

Shell said...

This is brilliant! And so true for me as well.

clearness said...

We had a day in the sprinklers at home and the kids had a ball, but were crabby to the point that BOTH of them took a big nap afterward. Thank goodness.

Ms. Moon said...

Water is holy. Amen.

blueviolet said...

It's in those moments that we know we can carry on!

PS. Your secret last night...all I can say is I followed up on it and wow, that was something.

LB said...

A swimming pool seems to cure all that ails! This is exactly why I've been nagging my husband all summer for one. After a few wifey tricks and a financial plan, I think I've got it on the agenda for next summer! ;-)

only a movie said...

Beautiful.
I agree that it has magic powers. My boy swam all day on the Fourth and it was a joy to see him in the moment, having so much fun. Few and far between at 14. :-)

ModernMom said...

Oh I so agree, water is magic!

Amy said...

Great insight. I often wonder if my kids' memories of me will be like Mr. Wilson on Home Improvement -- instead of only see the top of my head above a fence, it will be the top of my head above my laptop. Your post reminded me of a mantra they gave us at a week-long retreat in high school (that being 20+ years ago, I'm amazed I remember): Be. Here. Now.

Teachinfourth said...

I think you nailed it when you talked about the 'no distractions' thing. When we put aside all of those other things, and and focus on the person, we tend to enjoy them more.

Mrs4444 said...

Soooo beautiful. I'm calmer, just having read your post :) You should link this up Saturday.

Popped over via Amy's 4th Frog Blog

The Blue Zoo said...

Ah ha! So a POOL is the answer!! Too bad I cant take my kids swimming for a few more weeks.

michelle said...

I LOVE THIS

xoxoxo

Debbie said...

Love this post! There aren't many ills that a good swim can't cure:)

The Ninja said...

Being a Jew, I can tell you that the one and only time I had to dip myself naked in the Mikveh it did not wash away my sins, as I was too busy thinking of the women who had dipped naked before me and looking for pubic hairs floating around.

New follow!

Salt said...

I could so go for a swim right now.
Last weekend, I was laying out by the pool and of course it was blisteringly, deathly hot, so I jumped in the nice cool water and just floated there for awhile thinking about how wonderful and peaceful it was.

shortmama said...

I know what you mean. Last week we spent lots of time at the pool and it was glorious!

Melani said...

Great post! I love to swim and so do all my kids, I think they are all part fish! LOL