The puddle bewildered me. The weather was cloudy, but it hadn’t rained. I returned from a walk to find water in the yard of our apartment building. The direction of flow seemed to come from next door. I alerted my landlord to the puddle and climbed over the chain-link fence to the currently unoccupied neighboring rental property, snagging the seat of my oldest and most disreputable sweatpants in process. I’d wondered why I actually left my apartment dressed like that. I try not to go out looking too awful. Sometimes we just plan right by accident.
Anyway, my trespassing (which was oddly fun, by the way, after the stuck moment) led me to water that trickled through the yard as far as the cement slab of the side deck next door. Was the source in the house? The water was warm-ish. I called the owner. He came all the way from Las Cruces, thinking his rental house’s water heater had leaked.
Nope. It was fine. He dug around in our yard and found the problem. It was bubbling up from deep underground, from a pipe that runs to the Airstream trailer in the yard, the trailer my former landlady once fantasized living in when she retired. When my current landlord took over the property, he was told all those pipes were no longer connected to the apartments. No longer connected at all. Wrong.
A tree root found a pipe. The tree had water. We whose pipe it was do not.
Despite two days of trying, my landlord and one of my neighbors in our building were unable to make the repair. A professional is coming Tuesday. That will give us a full week of water appreciation.
I marvel at the simplicity of life with running water. How easy it is to wash your hands and your dishes, how uncomplicated it is to brush your teeth. Everything takes longer when you’re juggling jugs. But the jugs make me measure what I use. Even a frugal human uses a lot of water.
Our landlord bought us a week’s worth of soaking and showering at a spa two blocks away. I relish the hot mineral spring soaks along with my showers. Water. It’s sacred and healing as well as necessary and cleansing. The sensation of sinking into a hot tub when you have no water at home is doubly miraculous.
Today it rained twice, a long, quiet rain in the morning and a wild thunderstorm in the evening with intervals of hail. As I write this, the third rainstorm of the day is approaching, thundering gently as it comes. It hasn’t rained for a month, so, like all desert rain, this is welcome. Tomorrow it may even snow, after a spell of sixty-to-seventy degree weather, complete with the winds and pollen of spring. The water washed the air and calmed it down. And nourished the tree that no longer can drink from our pipe.