30 March 2015

Hidden Well

Sometimes, strangely, things remain hidden, even in the busiest of places.
Wandering around near one of several places I keep bees, I found a well. It's not far from a busy road and a frequently used footpath. The place had the aura of one which seemed surprised by human intrusion.

Hidden Well - Photo M.Malcher

Once upon a time, a blink ago in the eye of Mother Earth, the wellhouse would have been a hub of activity. The well would have been a focus of daily conversation where villagers drew their life from it's depths - there is no life without water.

Now people rush past, go home and expect clean water to gush from the tap; mostly without giving a thought to how that comes about. But south-east England is classified as being an area of "serious water stress" and whilst sometimes that's hard to imagine, it doesn't make the fact go away.  Actually it's an important thing to consider if we think of the additional water stress that continued unsustainable population growth and "development" will bring.

Curiously, I found an old earthenware bottle by the well. It looked as if it had been discarded recently, like the cans and crisp packets along the nearby hedgerow. Not so!

This is an old Stephens ink bottle from Aldersgate Street, London. It was made circa 1860, and certainly before 1880 when the factory moved from that address. Presumably, by the time the bottle was discarded, the villagers had a more convenient water supply.

Who knows what hides these spots, known only to moss, rain and wild creatures? The Wild needs these places, even the smallest of them, to allow the Earth to nourish our lives.

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