Several years ago I received a rain barrel as a Father’s Day gift from my family.  Men are like that – give me a hammer for Christmas and I’m thrilled.  Women, as you know, would not be so pleased.

Rain barrels at one time were a necessity but now are just a functional novelty.

I put the barrel in line with a downspout at the rear of my house.  It holds about 50 gallons of water and during a thunderstorm it can fill up in minutes from the water coming off the roof.  The barrel works well providing water for the summer garden and flowers and for all the house plants that move outside for the summer.  It’s full almost all the time.

The rain barrel taught me a lesson about taking things in time.  When I turn on the garden hose I immediately get 16 or 20 pounds of water pressure.  I don’t know what the real number might be so I just made up those two numbers.  In any case turn on the spigot and boom, instantly you get water and lots of it.  You can shoot the stream across the yard. That’s what we’re all used to anymore.

The barrel. To fill a watering can I have to open the tap and let the water flow via gravity into the can.  It’s not 15 pounds of pressure.  No, it’s more like no pounds of pressure.  You can’t be in a hurry when using a rain barrel.  It’s just a gravity feed and although I’ve never timed it I’m guessing that it takes 2, 3, 4 or 5 minutes to fill a 2 gallon watering can.  You can’t be in a hurry.  Using the can to water the garden takes patience too.

The can is also gravity device and with the sprinkler head on the rate of watering slows down.  This gives me time to appreciate what I’m watering and to see how everything is growing.  Sometimes, I just dump the water out and get on to other things.  I’m not always so patient.

I have one can that has a slow small leak on the the bottom.  I fill the can, place it and let it do it’s work silently for a couple of hours.  Very handy.

All this slowness made me realize that I can’t rush the rain barrel and I can’t be impatient using a watering can.  A great lesson. Slow down, enjoy filling and emptying the can.  Take a deep breath and smile.

Small pleasures all around.

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