Currently, there is some kind of earth digging machine resting on its haunches in our front yard.
Sometime during the next several days, this machine will dig a hole, and then another machine will drill deep into the earth, and then this digging machine will dig a trench, and there will be pipes and plastic and metal and all manner of anxiety and then: water will flow freely from our taps once again.
It’s hard, really bloody hard, to have your well run nearly dry while other disasters pop up on all fronts. There really is only so much gloom—and not the gloom that means rain—one can take. And it must be acknowledged, of course: we really are among the very lucky ones.
But still. There is a limit to the number of times one can lug water from a nearby pond without feeling like her life has veered off in an unplanned direction that will only end in despair and destitution.
Funny thing—it’s raining right now. Raining enough that soccer practice was canceled. Yes, we live in a place where covid numbers are low enough that our kid plays soccer. Last night, in fact, was the sharpest taste of normalcy I’ve had in the past seven months: I sat on the sidelines of a soccer field and watched middle schoolers play a soccer game. How many years have I been taking up that particular position? Leaning forward in my folding chair, usually with a book or a laptop balanced somewhere, looking up whenever the crowd starts indicating that something is happening.
I just counted: 12 years. Though there might have been one or two that we skipped.
It’s raining, but these weakling rainstorms are a tease. Not much actual water results from them, and the well isn’t very impressed. So, we’re taking the plunge and drilling a well. It’s interesting—what we pay depends on how many feet deep we have to go to get to the water. There’s not a lot of predictability with this particular job.
But I gave up on predictability a while ago. Haven’t we all? I have failed to predict so many things this year. Every morning, I open the news stream and voila, there is a whole slew of things I failed to predict.
You’d think I’d be used to it.
You’d think I’d have learned to expect the unexpected.
My goal these days is to actively stop reconfirming the particular boundaries that bind my days. It got to a point where every conversation was about plans for the future. “What time do you work on Saturday?” “When are the contractors coming?” “Did you remember your cleats?” “Do we need another lesson on how to use the google calendar?”
God, I was so boring.
I’m still pretty boring. But at least I’m less of a nag. A little less. Because the thing is, in this world where routine no longer reigns supreme, we miss stuff if we haven’t confirmed and reconfirmed a dozen times. And there are so few things, to miss one of them is to have missed a lifetime.
One thing I won’t miss? Lugging damn buckets from the damn pond.
Dear b, your word for next week is mountains.