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A Daily Sprinkle

Story ID:6275
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell ID USA
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Before we moved into our new home, we were told there was no sprinkler system for the
yards. This area of Idaho is desert. Without irrigation, the rich land would produce no
vegetables. All water for the farms and lawns is supplied by hundreds of miles of canals,
which are fed from the rivers and dams. In newer neighborhoods, the sprinkler systems
are fed from these canals. In the older areas, the yards are flooded.

This was a new concept to me. I’d never heard of it before. A few days after
we moved in, my new neighbor, Mike, dropped by to say hello and explain the system
to me.

“Mike,” he said. “In front, you have two pipes in the ground. There’s another in
back. Open the valves at the bottom of the pipes. Behind the bush, by my fence, you will
find a long metal rod with a fixing on the end. When you want to flood, make sure your
valves are open to your yard, take that key, walk up the street and around the corner.
There’s a pipe in the ground there. That’s the main valve for the whole street. Open the valve
and the water will come out of the pipes in your yard. Flood the whole area about
two inches deep.”

As he talked, we walked up the street, so he could show me the main valve.
“When you’re done,” he explain further, “go back up the street and shut the main
valve off and then the valves in your yard.”

He put his hand on my shoulder. “Now this is important, Mike.” He stared
into my eyes. “Don’t reverse the process. Always make sure your yard valves are on
before you turn the main valve on. Make sure you turn the main valve off before you
turn your yard ones off. If you do it wrong, the water pressure could blow out your
pipes. The neighbor across the street did that. It cost then almost eighteen thousand
dollars to have it fixed.”

A little shaken by this information, I shook Mike’s hand and thanked him.
The last thing I wanted to do was burst a pipe and lose a lot of money.

A few days later, the lawn looked parched. I found the three valves in my yard
and opened them, got the key for the main valve from Mike’s fence, walked up the
street and tentatively turned it on. I sighed with relieve when I turned the corner and
saw the water flowing from the pipes and spreading across my yard. I didn’t burst
the pipes.

For the next hour I walked around the yards in my bare feet, checking to see if
the water had covered all areas. The cool water felt nice. In some areas, mud oozed
between my toes. It reminded me of playing in puddles when I was a child.

I stood on the back deck and watched the pipe in the far right corner of the yard
spew water into the air. The water slowly crept across the yard and into the flowerbeds.
The birds sang. The water flowed. It was like I had my own private waterfall.

As the water rose, I thought, “This has got to be the most archaic system of
watering I have ever seen. Who ever heard of flooding your yard once a week?” The
flood system is very old. I admired the ingenuity of those who build the system more
than seventy years ago, but the new sprinkler systems are so much better.”

It occurred to me. “This is the same way I water my spiritual needs. I go to church
at Christmas, Easter, and to the rare Sunday service. I flood my needs a couple times a
year, just like I now have to flood my yard once a week. I need to sprinkle. From now on,
I’m going to read a little scripture every day. A daily sprinkle is much better than an
irregular flood.”

Michael T. Smith