As you age, you begin to understand the truth in the old adage “you don’t miss something until it's gone”. This past week, another similar phrase has rung true in the Bowler household: “you don't miss the water until the well runs dry”.

We’ve been having some issues with our water for the past couple of months. Mostly a low amount of pressure. After a lot of consultation and investigating, it all came to a head this week when our well pump died completely. Such is the way of things when you live in the country. A 30 year old electric motor 300 feet underground only lasts so long.

4 long days later, and several thousand dollars, we have running water again. Yay!

Taken for granted

So many truths in our lives are ones we can appreciate from afar, but do not truly understand until we experience them. For me, this week has shown me the importance of having water available on demand and just how much I've taken that for granted all my life. Hardly an earth shattering realization, but it's been profound regardless. Here in Canada, clean, fresh water is in such abundance that we can use 300 gallons a day without a blink.

But once you are forced to live on a limited supply, your appreciation grows. This has been illustrated multiple times over the past three days. Melting snow in the bathtub. Brushing the teeth of our four children with half a glass of water. Heating water to wash dishes in water three inches deep.

What then?

I despise myself when I experience a situation like this and fail to make change. So I'm focusing on two ways to live differently going forward. One is to use less water (and to be more mindful of consumption overall), an obvious change. The second is to give more support to those who are focused on bringing clean, accessible water to those who are living without it.

An example of this second change is organizations like Charity:Water. Cameron Moll has worked a lot with them over the past few years and I've donated to an occasional campaign. But many times I've let it pass by and our family has focused on other missions. Going forward, clean water will be a bigger focus of where we put our dollars to work.

In North America, we are blessed in so many ways. I have to remind myself to make use of these blessings in such a way that people with less can also benefit from the wealth of our countries. I encourage you to do the same!