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,