FIRMLY PLANTED ◽ ENCOURAGEMENT
Water is a wonder. It’s essential to Life. It’s a liquid composed of two gasses: oxygen and hydrogen. We are made mostly of water, and the earth is covered mostly by water. It’s the only substance that can exist naturally in three different states: liquid, gas, and solid. These are a few interesting facts about water that are well-known. Water is extraordinary and the science behind it is fascinating, but that’s not what I love most about water. The substance of water lures me: its purity, its clarity, its simplicity, its buoyancy.
I developed a deep yearning for water about two years ago—I began to drink more of it, but mostly I wanted to be in it. A perfect storm of circumstances fed my desire: I no longer cared if I looked good in a bathing suit; I experienced swimming in heavenly pool in the country (salt-water, peaceful quiet setting); garden time was limited by seasonal heat. The idea of spending time in the water took root and grew like a weed. Before this, for years, the thought of immersing myself in water, except for bathing, never crossed my mind.
The popularity of plunge pools had me looking around my yard for a spot to tuck a tiny one, but with well-established landscaping, underground electric and water lines, and, finally, after all these years, shade—there was no place for a pool. Then, in mid-summer, a crazy thought came to me—I could put one right under the pergola! The concrete patio could be torn up because there is nothing under it! I had a consultation with my pool-builder friend. Yes, it was definitely a crazy idea. It would cost way too much and years of work would be destroyed. It was disappointing, but it had been fun looking out there and imagining it for awhile!
Did the dream die? No. Did the desire subside? No. I told my daughter the disappointing news and she said, “Why don’t you get a stock tank pool?” A stock tank pool! I hadn’t seriously considered it until that moment. I’d recently made a new friend who had one so I was able to check it out to make sure it would satisfy. I loved it, and then the light came on. That’s it--it’s small, affordable and above ground, so no digging….and I have the perfect ready-made spot for it! In 2011 when I had the concrete patio poured as a first step of faith in creating a prayer garden, I decided on a large rounded shape. I left a section jutting out from under the patio for star-gazing. Stock tank pools require a very solid, level surface because 700 gallons of water is heavy. It would fit nicely along the rounded edge, and the spot gets a mix of sun and shade—perfect.
I wasted no time—it was already mid-July! Little did I know that the entire nation was ordering stock tanks! All stores that carry them had a 3 month wait! Then I thought of a place that wasn’t as well known. They said they had ordered fourteen that should come in at the end of the month and they had five left that weren’t paid for. I was so thankful! As it turned out, the order was delayed more than three weeks.
My birthday was late August and there was nothing I wanted more than to float in cool, pure, clear water, in my own backyard. I called my pool friend and immediately ordered a pump and filter so I would be ready—he said they could connect it for me. I waited. No stock tank. I called two or three times a week checking on the delivery. Finally, two days before my birthday it was delivered curbside. My friends who have the stock tank pool were the kindest! It was one of the hottest afternoons, but they came and helped wrestle it into the back yard. You don’t realize how big eight feet is until you try to move a metal stock tank. David had to dismantle the arbor over the gate and we wove it through an obstacle course to its resting place.
The next day I was so excited and ready! John was coming to connect it I wanted an early start so I could fill the pool and enjoy it with a friend coming over for an early celebration that afternoon. I waited, not too patiently—no John. Finally, I call and he explains he had to drive to Austin to get the pump. I thought it had already come in, but, just like the stock tanks, they were on back order because of the nationwide demand. He said that this one had unexpectedly come in to the store that morning! At long last, he arrived around one and had it installed in about three hours. It was filled in another two hours, and we were soaking by 6.
It was a wonderful “birthday gift to self,” but I couldn’t have done it without my friends Karen, David, and John. I’m thankful to God for friends like them, and for making my dream a reality, just in time. Water is restful, it restores and refreshes…just as the prayer garden does, even more.