W is for water

My allotment is on a completely new site. So new that it doesn’t have a water connection yet. As a result, I find myself lugging large bottles of water up there to fill the water butt every time I go up.

Yesterday it was raining heavily for most of the day, and my new shed was put up during a heavy shower. As we put the roof on (and when I say we, I mean they!) and finally had somewhere to shelter, the rain eased off and the sun tried to shine for a couple of minutes.

This morning it was raining again, not heavily but enough to make me thoroughly damp during my morning parkrun, so even though it had stopped by lunchtime the plot was too muddy and saturated to dig, although I was grateful for the water that my plants received, to save me having to water them.

We in the developed world take water for granted. We wash in it, we drink it, we use it to water our crops and we rarely consider where the supply comes from or how it gets to us. Now I’m running an allotment, and one with no water connection, I’m much more acutely aware of how important water is for life and growth.

It’s a bit like the wind, another W word. When I do my Saturday morning run, sometimes there’s a wind blowing. I find this has one of two effects, depending on the part of the route I’m on. When running in one direction, the wind blows me along, providing a very small speed boost, and I find it’s much warmer running with the wind at my back.

Then I turn and run the other way, and I’m running into the wind. I find it slower, but also quite often it’s a pleasant change – especially on a hot day, that cooling wind is pleasant and refreshing. I’m reminded of the old saying about planes taking off into the wind – that it gives us something to push against, that struggling against that resistance makes us stronger, just as outside plants are stronger because they have to withstand the wind and the rain.

So that’s two W words – water and wind – both essential for life, both things we can far too easily take for granted, and not consider how important they are.


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