I awoke to this quote: “May no adversity paralyze you.”
Then my well went dry. The actual well that supplies water to my house. It’s almost biblical in an omen-like way.
Regular readers will recall that this City Girl fairly recently discovered the nuances of a primitive water source. But being seasoned enough now in country-life inconveniences, I felt equipped to handle the immediate concerns of a situation such as this when Husband happened to be in another country on business. (Which coincidentally seems to occur with regularity when disaster strikes the home-front: water main burst, snow blower malfunction, broken furnace….”) But I digress.
Teen son was the one who alerted me that luck had run out when he marched into the kitchen, oddly gleeful, to declare that he had just ‘taken a dump’ and got the last flush of water left in the tank.
It’s not that we didn’t have warning. The water had been coughing through our pipes for some months now, protesting the driest summer on record in the area. We had tried to conserve – as much as a family of 5 with two teenage girls who take endless showers can. But I realize now that we, in our 21st century mindset, hadn’t truly grasped the concept of conservation until we started hauling 5-gallon buckets of water from a neighbor’s house. When one has to work this hard for something that is typically available at the touch of a finger, a shift occurs. And not just in muscle bulk.
Suddenly, every droplet of water is precious liquid gold. If a spill occurs, it is tenderly wiped up with regret and sorrow, it’s loss mourned like an old friend.
Several friends have offered their showers but there’s something about getting naked and wet in someone else’s bathroom that gives me pause. I opt instead for increased attendance at the yoga studio that has a fully functioning shower. Other family members are following suit at their respective health clubs which isn’t a bad thing for any of us.
We have accepted donations of water jugs with spigots which elevates our primitive dishwashing skills to a post-modern level and deludes us into thinking that things aren’t so bad – that maybe we can hold out for rain instead of having to sink tens of thousands of dollars into the ground to drill a deeper well. But the grim reality is that Mother Nature isn’t in the mood to cooperate and won’t promise that she will fix our situation.
I’m trying to dredge up the fortitude of my ancestors while reminding myself that mine is a First World problem. People in other parts of the world operate with far less than a modern source of clean water. But my humor is running dry along with my well and my bank account.
Cue the curse of the appliances which sabotaged our refrigerator this week and requires replacement of the motor. When it rains it pours they say. Except that it’s not raining water.
Picture me, smiling sweetly through tears, while brushing my unwashed hair from my face, declaring (Scarlett O’Hara style) that “Tomorrow is another day.”
Then erase that malarkey and picture what Scarlett would really be thinking in that ending scene of Gone With The Wind. Something along the lines of, ‘Get me out of this forsaken land and take me to a hotel where I will get the pampering I desperately need.’
As that is unlikely to happen for me, I am doing my best to accept this fate and return to gratitude for what’s left, like electricity and shelter and health! These privileges are now esteemed and cared for with higher reverence. There is a sense of stewardship that emerges when one realizes that nothing is guaranteed.
I can’t claim dominion over my attitude surrounding this dilemma, but I know that I am evolving into something more than I was prior to the experience. These inconvenient challenges have a way of elevating one’s game if you don’t allow them to sink you. And the lessons can spill over to others, like my neighbor who, in solidarity, is conserving water and evaluating her consumption in life. So I guess you could say that we’re ‘taking one for the team.’ Team human. Yay team.
Another neighbor, an engineer, sent us a flyer for an upcoming seminar at his place of employment called “Imagine a Day Without Water.” We were facetiously invited to be guest speakers.
They say that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I’d love to. Can I borrow some water to make it?