As it turns out, no one knows why our water disappeared at the stable a few days ago, but it is back on and running like nothing happened. Going without water for 24 hours does make you appreciate how lucky you are to live in a country where running water is a given.
Everything suddenly becomes much more uncertain, without water. Limited. Scary. Water is so basic, you use it all the time, without even thinking about it.
When I feed the horses, in their buckets, I usually hose down the buckets afterwards, to avoid mud and dirt collecting on the buckets. I am pretty hysterical with my horses and I don’t want them to eat dirt. Still, when your drinking water is suddenly limited, what then? Surely, you don’t use it for cleaning a bit of dirt of a bucket, now do you?
I found myself suddenly needing water for everything, as soon as it was gone. I mean, little things, like my salt lick was dirty, for instance, and it bothered me that I couldn’t really clean it off, because I had to save the water we had left, for drinking… And of course Saleem had one of his “cannot eat spells” that day as well, forcing me to use clean drinking water to clean out his mouth and the broken tooth. Good news is that it is working. Whenever he manages to stuff the hole where the tooth should have been with too much chewed through hay, I can wash it out and he eats again. He is a real trooper about it and easily lets me place the don’t-bite-my-hand-off tool in his mouth and the drench gun I got from my vet works like a charm…
But, when you need to preserve your water for drinking, you have to suddenly chose. What is more important? To clean out that hole between his teeth or the bucket full of water you will be throwing away to clean it?
I will admit, it took me about an hour of watching him, to decide, hoping he would fix it on his own. He sometimes do. Not that day though, so I decided that even if using drinking water on cleaning salt licks and buckets was not important, cleaning Saleem’s tooth, was. So we cleaned up Saleem. And yes, I cleaned up out tools afterwards too, making sure the rest of the water could no longer be used for drinking. I will admit that was a scary thing to do. What if this would turn out to be just the bucket we would need in the end, before we got it up and running again?
Then, when it started running, the following day, the water was all dark, and so I had to let it run through, wasting a lot of it before it was clean enough to fill up my barrels. That too, felt like quite a waste. I mean, okay, it was discoloured, probably from the pipes, but was it dangerous to drink? What if I was letting it run through, without collecting it in my barrels, and it would disappear again? Wouldn’t dark water be better than none at all?
Then again, if it was dangerous to drink somehow, and it wouldn’t break again, how could I not make sure my horses had crystal clean water to drink?
And all of this is such a luxury problem. I know. I am a blessed bastard, simply because 364 days a year, I HAVE running water and no need to worry about how to take care of my horses.
Imagine living in a country where water is not given. Where every time you wash your hands, you feel like you are throwing away precious liquid, that could have been used for drinking. Where you drink the water, even if it is discoloured, because it is all there is. Imagine…
I got a small taste of it, for 24 hours, feeling the responsibility towards my horses, and I was never really in trouble, since the water returned the following day and I have four water barrels for five horses at all times. (They drink about two in 24 hours.) Still, the possibility of being without running water, for longer periods of time, was enough to make me rethink everything I did that day.
I am guessing that it was not a bad thing to experience. So many things I take for granted. We all do, in this part of the world. So many things that others, desperately need on a daily basis.
I know, I can’t save the world. But at least I can now, appreciate a little better, just how lucky I really am. So, I don’t have everything I want in life. But at least, I do have running water, most of the time.