I remember the first winter that I even partially heated using a wood stove. The work was unfamiliar, but it was an immediate infatuation. The smells of the logs and the smoke. The heat depended on me, on my actions. The way that the wood stove forced every visitor into the living room, for ambiance and comfort. The strength that I built from hauling wood daily up from exceptionally steep stairs, and stacking cords. It changed me from someone who thought passively about where the heat came from by turning a switch, to an active participant in my own daily survival.
I am not reflecting on this because our new stove is being installed. Or because it was part of what set me on a path to examine my relationship with every seemingly passive necessity, which lead me to farming. But because I hadn't really thought about my water before. I've always had a well, and sometimes it ran low- but in my first world privilege I've never really had to go without water. I know that much of the world does.
As Kim wrote, we are still working to get the plumbing running in the new homestead. On Wednesday morning, I got up before five because I needed to be milling flour by eight thirty and had to run to the new house. By a bit after six, I was lowering a lantern down the spring house with a cup of Stewart's coffee by my side. With a painters extension poll, I slowly scraped the sides of the spring house looking for the pipe that runs into the farm. I had a variety of tools, from a dustpan to a bucket, to a shovel which I attached to the extension poll in turn to clear away debris. (Side Note: it's common for spring houses to need this type of maintenance, and it doesn't affect water quality.) Over an hour later, the spring house looked fairly clear, and I was running out of time. I've never experienced water in this active way. I will say, that for the moment, since we still aren't lucky enough for it to be working inside, it's not quite the love affair that the wood stove created.
Keep your fingers crossed for us folks. It's getting down to the wire.