Parched Earth...

I’m going to be up-front with you all… that faucet in the left-hand photo is illegal. Possibly, not really. Maybe, yes. Perhaps, unlikely. Hey! We’re in Italy. World of greys.

Gaia, the infamous Water Company in these parts, turns a blind eye to such breaches. And good that they do. Risk of a rebellion. High quotient of vegetable gardens needing watering in the Lunigiana. And the flower garden dear to one lone American over in the corner.

The other photos demonstrate the current state of Mother’s Earth at the garden of il Poggiolo… if it had more water, it would mature all the better… and of her precious Plant Life. Grass and trees. A fledgling cherry tree planted three years ago tragically bit the dust just days after someone BIG, and unidentified, found the switch to turn up the Daily Max Temperatures three weeks ago. Poor thing had not grown its roots down to where the wet is. Meters below, these days. We have about a yard of what appears to be soil posing as cement. Severe Drought Phase Numero Uno. We have not had a regular, consistent and deep soaking rainfall since 2014. Yep. I am a believer. It’s Global Warming. Access to any source of water is of dire importance… for all of us.

I paid good Euro’s for that faucet and the water connection from it to the stream below a next-door neighbor’s house. That same neighbor… she lives in the G*d-awful yellow house which glows at night it’s so yellow… invited us to join along with the other select members to have access to the semi-illegal aqueduct. Not sure money was exchanged between the others since, they are all family. That’s Italy.

Weirdly, the same stream provides the water Gaia accesses and then charges us their astronomical prices for H2O. We don’t drink Gaia’s water. And, we don’t water our plants with it either. Showers… military showers only!!!… and the dishwasher. Why? Ain’t safe. The stream water is shoddily filtered in a large concrete tank up stream a ways. When it rains, water out of our taps is brown. Not my favourite colour. Just to tell you. The spill-over flows right on over the open top of the tank and into the stream. A very minute amount runs into the tube for which I paid a mighty sum. Got it? Easy Math. Up ahead, it becomes really difficult for someone.

The arrangement at the moment of passing Euro’s into the hands of the neighbor was: She waters at night, We by day. OK. Fine. No problem. You & I know how to follow rules, treaties, agreements, etc. Another, apparently not. The neighbor used to barrel through a breach in our prickly hedge to turn off our faucet, so she could water her Plant Life… at 8 in the morning!!! That stunt irritated You no end. Since one the custom is acquired, never is it relinquished. And that is the Law!!! No kidding. Possession is 9/10th’s the Law. When the Dog Fence was installed last Fall, she had her cute, cute, cute boy-toy builder son install a Master Faucet. Now, she just conveniently turns off the communal water at the Main, steps from her front door. I discovered this little convenience when we met on the ramp to the Medieval Bridge two days ago…

by the way, work on restoring the Medieval Bridge has been suspended by the Culture Police. Uncertainty as to what to do next. I know but was not at all consulted. You is furious. He wasn’t consulted either. But that is not why he’s mad. Says the C.P.’s are idiots. I have an opinion on that assessment too but, it would not be helpful. Barely a bridge remains until.

Kindly enquiring of the neighbor why we have had no water from our faucet, the woman said we had been watering too much. Not good. We must water less. We have to conserve! What? But, Dear Signora, if the over-flow runs out of the tank and into the stream… and only a minute amount flows into our collective tube… and the rest… THE LARGER PART!!!… flows into a river, and another river, and still yet another river, to then flow into the Mediterranean Sea, how does one conserve… water? Her reply? We water too much. Basta! And she continued on to wherever. Am I crazy here? I think not. There is No Debate.

What will happen… a someone BIG will intercede… is the stream, as it does traditionally every Summer, will dry-up. There! Conservation done. For us and for everyone else too. A strange sort of vindication. And that folks is Italy too!