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The Happy Water Healing

Around this time of year, a lot of us experience the dreaded sinus headache. If you've never hadone, it comes as a thief in the night. The first signs: dizziness and fatigue. Hoping the symptoms will be gone by morning, you snort some salt water to clear your head, maybe take some NyQuil, and wake up feeling 10x worse. Nose continually oozing, every edge of your head throbbing, body weak and tired. You feel like death warmed over. So, naturally, one would pool all her resources to MAKE IT DISAPPEAR. Good thing I got a sinus headache in Spain. There are a few things that happened daily in my Spanish corridors that one might not think "normal" off hand, one of them being the "bottle of happy water." It was a blue tinted glass bottle as long as my head, decorated with convex glass engravings of different "codes" as Sal would call them. These codes included happiness and wellbeing, something for your heart chakra, your head chakra, etc. We were to drink out of this particular bottle every day even though the tap water was fine. When I got sick though, she filled the bottle with water and essence of lemon, brought a few laminated square shaped papers the size of my hand, and had me choose one. Not knowing what was happening, as usual, I weakly pointed to the "happiness" paper hoping meditation wasn't involved. She slid the paper onto our kitchen table and set the water bottle on top. I reached for the bottle, thirsty. "Oh, just wait twenty minutes to drink that. It needs to sit for that long," Sal said. I almost laughed. "You mean the impenetrable glass bottle that you already believe has healing properties needs to sit on top of a laminated piece of paper with the word "happiness" typed out on it?" But I just nodded instead. Sal went about cooking and cleaning like usual while we waited for the happy water to prepare. It was as if we were simply waiting for a pot of water to boil. Once the bottle was "ready," I drank from it and heard Sal say, "If you'd like me to rub your head, let me know and I can try to make it feel better." Apparently I assumed the Spanish for "rub" when it meant something completely different. After lunch, I followed Sal to the living room, laid belly up on the floor, she put a pillow under my head, and sat on her knees with my head in between. I waited for what I imagined as a massage to start. It didn't. She had told me to close my eyes, so I laid there, mouth open (not being able to breathe through my nose), waiting a minute more. After some time, I peeked a puffy eyelid open. She had her eyes closed too and her hands hovering over my head. I raised a brow. What?-- Then I remembered how in energy therapy (a blog for a different day), Mora had hovered her hands over my body to get a feel for where the energy fields in my body were most diluted and busy. I guessed Sal was doing the same. Hoping the massage would come after the hand hovering, I waited, squinting my eyes now and then from the pain of the headache. I felt something warm near my forehead. Her hands, still hovering, had come close enough to my skin I could feel their heat. The knowledge that something capable of massaging my aching temples was so close and yet being unused somehow made the headache greater and I lifted a hand to press against the back of my head. Sal didn't get the gesture. She kept her hands hovered, I could feel their circular movements as their sweeping moved whisps of my hair in and out of my eyes. The tension of wanting her to just pound a brick against my head already made me frustrated and the wasting of time with her hovering her hands while I could be pounding a brick over my head made me even more mad. I waited for it to end. Almost falling asleep, she asked me how I felt afterward. "El mismo," I said. (Just the same). I told her I wanted to go take a siesta and pounded my head against my hands. That didn't help either. Sal told me later, "I will put a code under your bed to help you sleep better." I nodded and filled up a glass of non-happy water from the tap. My one daily rebellion.

Morgan McGill

Louisville, KY, USA

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