我終於明白什麼叫crystal clear，原來crystal clear要用「飲」來感覺，不是用「看」來理解，雪水在手中感覺冰涼，但喝下肚子裏，卻一點涼意都感受不到，反而像喝下了閃閃發光的水晶，叮叮噹噹地溶在體內；踩在腳下的白雪，捧在手上的雪水，喝下肚裏的水晶，全都連成一線，而我置身其中，我也是這線上的一點，之前得享，之後得還，今日享受了大自然的給予，他朝腐爛的肉體返還大地，自然本是一個完美圓環。
The most delicious water on Earth
I had drunk the most delicious water in Lake Biwa, Shiga, Japan.
It was a cold winter in January 2012. I was wwoofing (free accommodation, no salary with 6 days’ work) in a small farm near Lake Biwa. The tap water and the drinking water were strictly separated in the farm. The tap water was just for cleaning.
One day, the drinking water in the farm was nearly finished. Boss Kino ordered me and another Japanese female wwoofer ‘Mariko’ to fetch the water. So we took a dozen of water buckets and drove off.
We drove from Lake Biwa and up in the snow mountain for around 90 minutes. The sky turned from blue to white slowly and less and less people but more and more trees. There was storm when we approached the foot of the snow mountain. The houses were half-covered by snow in the village near the foot of the snow mountain. It seems all the colors were gone but white left for the sky and ground and black left for the wooden houses.
There was a strong wind with snow blown to me when I opened the truck door and I fell back. Thanks God that Mariko got me so I didn’t hurt myself. Boss Kino just glimpsed at us and ordered us to take the water buckets to the well fast and he already rush to the well on his own.
Boos Kino met a lady from the village and both were greeting politely and going on their way. The village lady carried a water bucket on her hand and it seems the villagers also drank the snow water.
There was thick firm white snow around the little well. The water in the well was flowing and shiny reflected the snow occasionally.
Boss Kino connected the tube from the well and the water bucket and waited for the water to fill up and carried the buckets back to the truck.
I took one bucket at a time and walked slowly down the slope because I was afraid the bucket would overthrow. Boss Kino and Mariko both fetched 2 buckets already when I finished the first bucket. Boss Kino stared at me, frowned, and roared, ‘早く！早く！(Quicker! Quicker!)’
I was always working in an office in Hong Kong and couldn’t compare them with strength. Hong Kong never snow and I hadn’t walked on ground with snow before and I needed to carry a heavy (for me) bucket with coldness, slip, slope, heavy and the boss is pressing so I was at one's wits end. But I couldn’t be lost and I had to carry on with the water bucket down the slope.
Mariko stepped in between Boss Kino and me and lower her head and apologized, ‘はい！はい！(Yes! Yes!)’ and just JUMPED down the slope with the water buckets.
It was such an amazing jump.
I didn’t know if Boss Kino roared at me alone or roared at Mariko who stood behind me or roared at both of us. Mariko had ward me for her jump, salute to her.
We finally got all the water buckets filled up and fetched them back to the truck. Boss Kino let us drank the snow water we just fetched and I hesitated, ‘How can we drink un-boiled water?’
Travel always broke norms. (Tape water can’t be drunk directly in Hong Kong, we always boil the water before we drink) I was so thirsty because of the physical labor I just did so I took a small sip. And another sip. And a big drank. This water was so DELICIOUS!
Now I understood what is ‘crystal clear’. We have to ‘drink’ the crystal clear instead of ‘look’ at it. The snow was cold on hand but warm in stomach. It was like drinking a strand of shiny crystals and they were melting inside my body. A circle was form between the snow I stepped on, the snow I held on hand and the snow I drank. I was a dot on this circle and what I have enjoyed now would have to give back later. I drank from the nature today and my decayed body would return to earth tomorrow. It is always a perfect circle in the nature world.
Later on we drank this snow water in the farm every day. I still felt the ‘crystal clear’ whenever I drank it and knowing it was not an illusion of exhaustion.
I filled up a full bottle of snow water when I leave the Shiga farm. The most delicious water became less and less and everything/everyone met when they have to meet and everything/everyone left when they have to leave. Let’s save this feeling as a memorial if we meet next time.
There was a snow storm on the way and we had to wait for the snow-cleaning-truck.
Village houses near the well.
Mariko was reading books about agriculture and hope to be a farmer.