I love drinking cold water from a tin cup.
One afternoon, when I was ten or eleven, my grandfather took my brother and I on a walk into the thick forest down the slope away from the farm house. He wanted to check some of the fencing on his hobby farm.
After about thirty minutes of walking quietly we arrived at a little, bubbling brook.
The flow wasn’t much more than a bathtub faucet, and it just appeared as a waterfall out of a bunch of rocks, then flowed quickly among some small boulders before disappearing again.
Beside the rocks was a short post, and upside down on top of the post was an old tin cup.
My grandfather rinsed the cup out, drank two fast cups of water, then soaked the bandanna he always wore, and handed me the cup.
I don’t remember if the sound of bubbling water, the sound of water gently hitting the same rocks as it has for decades and decades, meant anything to me before then… but I have to stop — I have to stop — when I hear that sound now.
The cold water running over my hands… if there was a cause and effect, maybe that moment explains why washing my hands in cold water relaxes me today.
But it was the cup. It was a hot day and my grandfather had held the white and silver cup in the waterfall long enough that it was cold. The metal against my teeth, the sharpness of the water…
I can only remember being able to drink there a couple of times. But drinking out of that spring using that cup is one of my favourite memories.