Day Writing by Heather Hamilton-Maude: Water
As rare and precious as western Gold. It’s an oft-elusive commodity, or one that was long-ago sold.
Folks to the east will say they have too much, but more often than not our part of the world is choking on dust.
Here’s to the men and women spending this summer dodging tourists. Delivering load after load to their personal H20 enthusiasts.
Rattling out to pastures of grazing cattle or sheep; the kind who seemingly never sleep for want of another drink.
Others are in the development stage. Digging in lines, setting tanks, holding their breath as the project takes shape.
To those with in-laws or family who visit and use too much, causing anger-sparked marital turmoil. The kind an outsider would likely consider trivial.
Then again, they’ve never driven a contraption belonging in a museum, with kids and mice and a notable lack of air conditionin’. All to ensure those visitors can shower again.
Children raised without an abundance chuckle when the school teaches to turn off the faucet. Their mother ingrained that lesson from day one, with passion that would rival a prophet.
It is the focal point of countless prayers. Asking for more, preferably in liquid form, ideally before frost, if possible, Lord.
Frustrations have occasionally been muttered, as it flows from faucets mangled and corroded. One tiny drink would hit the stomach like a lethal threat, and it’s basically useless beyond getting something wet.
Others have water, up until a cow wets her whistle. Always with timing so perfect it makes a half-showered woman bristle.
More than one set of tears has been shed at a rate coming close, but not quite replacing it.
Then there is the joy unknown to those who’ve never experienced water-related woes, when a water source is found that produces a consistent and steady flow.
Should it be potable, well that’s even better. Park the water hauling rig, but don’t sell it in case something goes wrong and we lose pressure.
May we all at some point, get to experience the joy of an abundant supply of high-quality water.
To my parents, and the many others that have devoted countless hours to water. We still talk about getting to fill the bathtub all the way to the top when we stayed in a hotel in Montana as kids.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the July 24, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News