Friday, 18 January 2008

high water

B is sick, tossing-up sick.

So he was moaning on the couch, and suddenly he cocked his head (like a pointer! On scent!) and said 'Is that the pump?'

He might as well been tongue-clicking in Swahili. Pump? What is this...pump you speak of?

Sure enough, the pump was merrily humming along to itself. That wasn't the problem. It just didn't shut off.

So the rest of the night was spent draining and climbing into the well. The foot-pump had broken? Come loose? Run away? I wasn't so clear on the specifics, but I held the ladder and pointed the flashlight and nodded in the right places.

B and his brother conferred and B climbed up and down and up and down and hung off the ladder (Above the water! Balancing! Side note: B doesn't like heights. I don't like small, enclosed spaces. We were a treat to watch.)

Then they both went off to go poke the pump in the basement and left me next to the well.

It was one of those starry, clear nights where you can hear the occasional jet overhead and maybe the hum of a truck out on the highway, but nothing else except the wind in the trees.
I looked at the stars for awhile Where was Cassiopeia again? and heard a 'plink!'

Plink! Plink!

I looked around with my flashlight, and figured out if was coming from the well.

I leaned over and focused the flashlight down on the old stones. The pump had drained the water down to a little under six feet, and while I watched, a drop trickled down the rocks and plinked! into the water.

The well was re-filling itself.

I'd never seen the well this close, and never at night. The light glinted off the streams and penetrated the pool below. It was beautiful. Ancient.

Amazing things are everywhere.


meggie said...

Loved this post with the chill starry night, & the plink of water!

Stomper Girl said...

Your B is a good man, to be so sick and to still get down and up the ladder.

blackbird said...

What meggie said...

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Them thar South Shore boys is sure something, aren't they? Btw, my maiden name is Zwicker.

Erin said...

I hope... Well, I hope several things. I hope that B feels better. And I hope that your well is ok. We had a near catastrophe with our sump pump on Christmas Day (a warm-ish day, with about 2 feet of snow melting). I went downstairs to do some laundry (yeah, I know) and discovered water in our basement.

Fortunately, it was just that the float that turns the sump on had gotten stuck in the "off" position, but thinking about what might have happened still gives me the heebie jeebies.