Lowering the Docks

We have a dock on each of our two ponds. The one closest to the house is our “watering dock.” It is pretty small, and only there for me to dip buckets for watering the gardens. The other larger dock is on our back pond, and is used for recreation… we have a “dock sit” in the afternoons before supper. It is a time to just sit and enjoy the beautiful place.

These docks sit on steel pipes that are augured into the mud. They both have floats on them as well, and the way they should work is the dock floats a few inches above some pins in the steel legs, until a dog or human comes on them, at which time the extra weight makes the dock rest on the pins.

As the level of the ponds drop, I need to lower the pins. Otherwise the whole thing rests on the pins, which is not stable. Yesterday, I realized I had let things progress too long, and the floats were no longer doing their job. When this happens, the lowering of the pins is harder, because the weight of the dock is on them, and what should be an easy matter of pulling the pins out, becomes an ordeal of driving them out with a hammer.

So armed with the tools I needed, I got the canoe out and worked my way around all points of both docks and got them lowered. Many strange things happened to me as this job progressed. Once, I drove out a pin, and before I could grab it, it shot out into the pond. I have no spares. So I had to take off my clothes, get into the water, and dive down in about 5′ of water, and feel around in the muck until I found the pin. From that point on, I tied the pins to a bit of string before I drove them out.

On our walk after supper last night, Franko and I closed the greenhouse as is our habit. It was then that I noticed I had left the canoe tied to the watering dock. I walked down there, cast off the painter, and started paddling towards the back pond where the canoe is kept.

At that moment, I put the paddle down and stared. There was something about the still water, the weeds on the margins, and the fat dragonflies that reminded me of the pictures that Hiyao Miyazaki is so adept at painting. The peaceful water scene. A moment before I was only thinking about putting the canoe away, and the next I was transported into another world.

The remainder of the paddle was filled with different thoughts. How lucky we are to have such a beautiful place, one where we can dip our paddle whenever we please. Where we can grow a significant portion of our own food. Where our creativity and hard work is rewarded over and over. We are lucky.

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