Thursday, 14 September 2017

Well restored

Many moons ago some strong men built a well so that they and the people living nearby had access to fresh water. The well was marked on the local map, along with one just a little bit down the road, and for a long time that was the only water they had to use – for drinking; for washing; for laundry unless they had a means of storing rainwater; for all those things that water gives to us. 

Time passed, technology improved, we got mains water supply in our houses and the need for a well passed. Some were covered over completely, buried under gardens or house extensions. Ours was given a lovely wellhead and then, at some stage, capped with concrete. It sits at the top of the garden, near the house, just where I can see it as I sit in the sitting room. When we moved in my first thought was to know how deep the well was, and what would be involved in opening it up again. It felt wrong to have it covered. 

In the past people believed that all things were animated by some sort of spirit; water, the earth, thunder, wind, trees, all life was part of a whole that vibrated with unseen energies. All across the world, myths and legends grew up around the powers associated with water. Terri Windling has written a beautiful post about this; as with all of her posts, illustrated with the loveliest images.

I’m not sure about the presence of spirits, I am sure that we have lost that element of respect and reverence for this earth who sustains us and, if there are spirits of land and water, then they should be free. So, this week a nice man called Jo, who comes from the same county where my grandmother was born, brought his tools, strength and expertise and opened up the well again for us, straightening up well head which was going a bit awry, and creating a temporary cover, until such time as a proper one with steel mesh can be fabricated to leave the well open for us to gaze down in wonderment, and for those spirits, if they are there, to rise and fall freely with the rising and falling of the water.

In the meantime, the well guardians are still doing their job. The old stone ones take their ease,

and the furry ones will still be able to perch there, out of the way of the badgers, who come bumbling up in the Autumn to inspect the hazelnuts, from the tree by the well, for ripeness; food to increase their wisdom.


  1. Wow Kat !!!! what a story ! LOVE that !

    And oh my, how DEEP that well is ! No danger that
    your furry one falls into it ??? :-O
    So special you have badgers visiting ... !

    (the only ones visiting here are probably stray
    cats, mice and (most surely) rats ...)

    1. Hi Els,

      yes, no chance the cats will fall in - I was rather startled at how deep it was too. The badgers live "down in the dell" a little wild bit of the garden, right at the very bottom, where they have a HUGE badger sett, from which they set forth each night (pardon the pun) to dig great holes in the thing that we don't call a lawn because, well, it's full of badger holes!!
      They were here before we were - how kind of them to share their garden wtih us!!


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