“When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.”
I woke last night to the unfamiliar chatter of rain on the roof, turned over, relieved I wouldn’t need to water in the morning. We were going on 50 days without rain in the Pacific Northwest, but I’m not complaining; I figure we’re just making up for June and July. One look at the garden, though, and I’m reminded we live in a maritime climate. Our plants love drizzly days, a constant stream of moisture trickling into their roots.
The past month, I’ve loved spending early mornings in the garden watering, watching the light climb through the Douglas firs and maples to the east, dappling the grass. One morning last week, I was feeling anxious—school starting in a few weeks, too many house and yard projects underway, not to mention writing projects I’m still hoping to complete—but as I watched the cold, clear water trickle from the watering can into the dry flower pots, I reminded myself to breathe, to imagine being this plant, so grateful for each drop of water. Yes, I still have too much to do, but I’ll just do what I can. In the meantime, I was reminded of what matters: sun, water, air, breath, living in this moment as we all reach for the sun, sink our roots into the earth, drink in the life-giving water.
But then our well pump broke. The plumber couldn’t come and replace it for three days, so I was back to what I learned years ago on our fishing boat with a 25-gallon water tank: use bottled water for drinking, brushing teeth, cooking, then re-use cooking water to wash dishes and water the plants—and only the plants that really need water.
Thankfully, the pump is fixed now, clear water gushes from the faucet, rain falls outside. But that week reminded me how easily it could be otherwise and perhaps is true for many in the world who face water shortages. I’m reminded to be grateful each time I turn the faucet, when I water the plants, and yes, when I hear the rain fall.
This week, as we head into fall, let’s reflect on water and the rich diversity of life it supports. If you’d like to learn more about water, here’s a link to an award-winning documentary film by Irina Salina: “Flow: For Love of Water.” If you’re watering your garden, use the time as an opportunity for contemplation—and come up with your own watering meditation. (Please share it with us if you do) If you feel inspired to write, check out these poems about water. We hope you’ll post what you write, or post your favorite water poems.
P.S. Here are some more photos from our Finnriver Farm workshop. Enjoy!