Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Water Canto

Dear Saint Isadore the Farmer
I don't believe we've met, seeing as how I'm not in your flock
but farmers are a family of sorts, so I thought you might
understand our predicament

The neighbor's new, deep well has so much pressure it keeps bursting hoses--theirs and ours. Farmer Rick repaired ours late the other night and connected it to the pumpkin patch--which we located at the furthest reaches of our property as recommended by permacultural practices, with the assumption they need little tending--HA!

Emily Dickinson said water is taught by thirst
yet our parched land can't seem to command the clouds
and our well is bone dry--nothing down there
but echoes of better times

After adjusting all the spray emitters to the new pressure, I got back to the source and discovered a huge loss of water at the repair site. One inquisitive touch sent parts flying and a geyser of water up my nose, drenching me before I could reach the lever to turn it off. Then, it was off to the tool shed to repair it again.

I thought I'd start with you--
kind to animals, patron saint of farmers and rural communities
--because I like the looks a saint with a shovel
and water springing forth

After completing the mend I had to walk back over to the pumpkin patch and reset all the emitters to yet another pressure. By now the 103 degree temperature has rendered the water in the black irrigation hoses to scalding. It's burning my hands and probably not making the plants too happy to have their thirst answered like this. I feel awful about it, but what can I do?

D.H. Lawrence said water is H2O,
hydrogen two parts, oxygen one, but there is also a third thing,
that makes water and nobody knows what that is
(I believe God knows)

Because of the mineral content that clogs the emitters, each one has to first be turned on full blast to clear the holes, then turned down to reach only the plant roots, no more. But the last one scalds my hand and I inadvertently let go, blowing the emitter cap to the heavens or at least into the surrounding grass where I cannot find it. There is now another geyser and I scramble to turn off that lever.

Who made it follow the path
of least resistance, yet strong enough to carve a canyon
there is a lesson in there somewhere for us
if we would stop to ponder

I go in search of our stash of irrigation parts and do not have another. The nearest one is a three hour round trip away. I apologize to the pumpkins for our lack of preparedness. It is now noon, and I have spent the better half of a day spraying myself in the face while my vegetables are wilting.

Loren Eiseley said if there is magic on this planet,
it is contained in water, but I think it is spirit he's talking about
like the angel of the flower contained in each seed
that brings forth the fruit

I spend another half a day getting the parts, and a few extra. Now a pond from the back pressure begins to form in the neighbors yard where the spigot lives, where this kind gift of water originates from, where their daughter is getting married this weekend. We decide a solution is perhaps to turn down the pressure on her side and up the pressure on my side. This means going back to the pumpkin patch and readjusting all the emitters. It is 104 degrees outside, the water much hotter. Both the plants and I groan accepting the only water we have.

Your prayer is for all Creation
--the fields, the plants, living water, fresh air, all creatures,
love for one another--this has been my prayer, too
we both know the worth of water

If there ever was a time Farmer Rick wanted to talk me in to relocating to a cooler climate, like the one he grew up in, this would be it. I'm frustrated and exhausted, and I can't even find the towel to throw it in. I'm hot, thirsty, sweaty and a magnet for west Texas dirt. I'd like to cry but I don't think I'm hydrated enough to make the tears.

So, I'm throwing some dirt in the well
tierra bendita that came from the Santuario de Chimayo a place of miracles
asking for clouds and rain to keep our well replenished
and our souls succulent

The well service calls to say, no, they can't deepen a hand dug well. Just to get the rig out to dig another shallow well is $4,500, but eight others already called before me and there's no guarantee in this alluvial gravel. All the new wells drilled around us are at 800 feet or $15,000 dollars deep.

And if your compassion can be so moved, Saint Isador the Farmer,
for our fields, plants, and creatures, to drive your spade
we'd be very thankful for the water!


Dana and Daisy said...

oh goodness! You save your hydration and I will cry for you! It's the least I can do.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Ugh. I just can't imagine. I'll never complain about too much rain here ever again.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Your prayers were beautiful and I will add my own and pray that they will be answered...and very soon, my friend.
The miracle dirt will come through...I just know it!


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