First it ran to a trickle, then a drip and after that nothing.
Midway through a shower after a hard day’s toil at the keyboard; all lathered up and ready for a cool rinse off and what happened, the water just stopped, that’s what. I scraped soap suds off my personage, in much the same way as a German bartender knocks the foam off the top of a glass of lager, all the while grumbling to myself that someone was going to get an earful about this.
And then it dawned on me. There was no one to give an earful to. No water company to call. No emergency hotline to be put on infinite hold by when calling to report a problem. There was no one else to lambast about my lack of water other than me and my now dry well.
Water, that life giving elixir, is something that far too many in this world take for granted. And I was one of them. Living in
, where all but a tiny minority of households are linked to the mains water supply, we all expect there to be water when we turn on the tap. Just like we expect there to be a pub on every corner, a traffic jam on every motorway and a few folks in every country of the world who don’t like us because we conquered and enslaved them at some point in the distant past. England
The thing is, we may have colonised many places but us Brits never bothered to learn the local culture. And, it was as such that I came to
and showered long and luxuriantly, oblivious to the fact that my well could and would run dry if I used its precious content wastefully. Never again shall I take water, my water, for granted like I did when I lived in Londinium. Canada
And this is the moral of my meandering words in this week’s column. Not water use, because you’re all well used to wells and their workings. No, I’m harping on about taking things for granted.
While I didn’t appreciate my water supply until forced to flick foam rather than rinse off, I am acutely aware of the wonders bestowed upon me in my new home here in Haliburton. Absolute blessings such as the mile after mile of verdant wilderness and the cobalt blue lake around every corner. Roads that are not choked with traffic and exhaust fumes and people within or without car, who smile and take the time of day to say hello. Even the pesky racoons, veg stealing white tails and chicken chomping foxes are something to rejoice about because so many people in this world get little or no chance to see and appreciate them: let alone get annoyed by their presence in our lives (or should that be our presence in their lives!).
And so I gently remind you Haliburtonians, those things you see and experience everyday, those quirks and quibbles of life in the Highlands, take a moment to step back, reappraise and enjoy them because to many, including myself, they are a rare and unique pleasure.
But back to my water. The well filled up again, thankfully and I’m now much more conscious of the amount of water I use and the relative fragility of the supply. I even went so far as finding out a little more about the other idiosyncrasies of homes in rural
. There’s the family of chipmunks living in the floor space that every house comes equipped with. The grills in the floor that I think have something to do with the heating but which more importantly are employed by little Z as postage slots for toys, money and partially chewed meals. Hmm, may be he’s in league with the chipmunks. Canada
And then there’s the septic tank; that subterranean cauldron filled with what I believe you laughingly refer to as ‘honey’.
I just hope its sweet in there because I’m not looking forward to jumping down inside and shovelling it out this fall. That’s what you do, right?