I’m not sure how to dig a working well….
You know, like, back in those golden olden days of previous centuries. We all have our imaginations at work as to what well looks like, brick or stone above the ground, beneath a well house cover, and a big bucket with a rope just waiting for you to draw some cool spring water from below!
I’m out sure how they did wells back then, but I do remember attempting to hand dig a well with an auger that utilized the growing back muscles of all the “men and boys” of our family. 1965 or so. Building a house for dad’s parents, and all water in the area came from wells. Borrowed equipment… Intelligent guessing on location… Get to work!
It was sandy loam and red clay, and every few twists of the auger created a sloughing of the sand. Hard. Back breaking work. Impossible for us to make any headway. We ended up having a well company come out with fancy equipment and before long we had running water from about 120 feet below the surface.
Grandma and Grandpa were moving from a house where there was no running water! A narrow pipe opening tapped the underground water supply and everything was drawn by hand and delivered into the house by bucket. The drawn bucket was like the contraption pictured… It was always fun to let the bucket down by rope, let it sink into the water below, and then draw it back to the surface via the rope and pulley. Drag the bucket over to a regular bucket with a handle, pull the lever and the bottom would. Open and the water would pour into the house bucket.
From memory and the looks of this example, there was probably 1-2 gallons drawn. About 12 pounds plus the equipment.
Where I live today, we all have our own personal water wells on each property. Since it was completed before we moved in, I’m not sure how deep the water is, but I do know there are times that the aquifer is low and the water doesn’t come as fast as other times. It may be at times when there is a lot of water draw from others tapped into the same water source. It may be at times when the source has not been replenished in a timely manner, or even some sediment is clogging the filter.
Regardless, think about what happens when your well source is not adequately filled to meet your needs. In my imagination I see an empty cave like area that could easily be the next sink hole waiting to open up! Or the sediment is so thick and cloudy you would not imagine drinking the water even if you could access anything from down there! Murky. Dangerous.
Imagine what it must have been like in olden days when every drop of water required for sustenance came from manual labor. Wells needed to be kept clear of debris. The steps of all those larger wells required regular maintenance for the safety of the people walking up and down the steps. For smaller wells, the openings were often concealed beneath rocks that required effort to role on and off the opening.
Hard work for life giving water!
King David was far from home, in a battle against the Philistines. In a moment of down time:
- And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! (2 Samuel 23:15)
Not a bad request! He yearned for water from a different time of his life. Maybe even the best tasting water around. The only problem? That’s where the enemy were stationed! Some of his men heard him and three of them, described as being Mighty, broke through the enemy lines and drew some water for their King. Because of their sacrifice, David did not feel worthy to drink and poured it out unto the Lord. Their sacrifice became his worship to God.
There are times we draw from the wells of our memories and they sustain us. There are times those memories keep us going just by their recall. And there are times that we tank God for their life sustains memories which are just as fresh as as if we tasted them again. Today. Right now.