Only a drop to drink

When it rains I dance. I laugh and even clap my hands. I hug whoever or whatever is at hand. My joy springs not from the new layer of silt that has eroded from our hill nor from the layers of mud that coat the bottom of my shoes, which leave heavy prints in the kitchen and on my pant legs. No, those are the sorrows that follow a rain storm. The joy is from watching our rain barrels fill with water. These barrels feed our pressure tank which empties into a set of pipes leading to sinks, a shower, and a garden hose. So, every time it rains I can literally watch life’s most vital ingredient accumulate before me. That is the source of my joy.

October 16 we had such a great rain that my joy held its breath, just for a moment, in fear that our thirty-four 55 gallon drums would over-flow with water. But the joy of seeing them full was enough to flood the fear.

It hasn’t rained since. More than three weeks have passed without a storm, something I expect in late summer, not in late fall. Last year it rained so much during the fall that our building plans were delayed and delayed and delayed. (Now they’re delayed for other reasons, when the weather is sunny!)

Our water supply should have been more than sufficient for the empty three weeks. That is if we hadn’t freely used the seemingly abundant supply for making mud for the cordwood addition and then unknowingly had a leak emerge draining another third of our water supply.

Now, we gaze simultaneously at the barrels and the weather forecast. Less than a sixth remains and when rain is predicted, it has not yet materialized.

Dirty dishes are piling up as is dirty laundry. Waiting for a rain. The great cleanser. We are not, however, waiting for a rain to cleanse us. Today, we finished a stove-top hot water system and tried out our new “hot” water shower. Bathing in the joy from the last storm and saving just a drop to drink.

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