Brothers at the Well
I met a man named Sergei yesterday. He came to the Lake House to survey and price the drilling of a new well. Years ago, this much-loved summer cottage had been falling in on itself until we winterized it and brought it back to life.
One of the tasks left incomplete from the renovation was addressing the existing, shallow, shared well. The need for good clear water, improved pressure, and generator control made drilling a new well worthwhile.
I’m guessing that Sergei is about 75 years old – and he looks to be in great shape. He has lots of hair, steady hands, and a sharp mind. We stand at the proposed well location discussing the trenching and depth. I try to get a feel for the cost … I know that unless we hire a dowser, there is no way to tell how deep the well will need to be. Sergei says, “Maybe 200 feet, maybe 600 feet … probably in that range.” Since he has drilled hundreds of wells in his time, we will just have to trust in his knowledge and fairness.
We stood close together taking the measure of each other, not in a man-to-man dirt-kicking way, but rather a gauging of the moment.
Sergei’s company has not been drilling many wells in the last couple of years. The recession slammed all corners of the construction world. We talked about the difficulty and cost of maintaining insurance and keeping good employees. He has kept his company afloat with repairs and maintenance. He mentions that his son runs the drilling rig … but I can tell that future uncertainty is weighing on him.
As we stand in the cold damp air of the lakeside we begin to share some personal thoughts about our present government. He mentions that he listens to the great progressive radio station WBAI every morning – to get, as he says, “The Truth.” I spin out some particular ideas about fairness, and caring, and what the future may bring – and we are off to the races!
You never know when you are going to meet a kindred soul.
I suggest that we meet for coffee next week at Blind Charlie’s in Pound Ridge – just to “chew the fat” – and excitedly Sergei agrees, grabbing my shoulder and pumping my arm – manly, but warm. I know something special has happened, both ordinary and extraordinary.
Sergei is a wonderful, capable, real person who easily shares his story with me in that cold early evening air.
A genuine connection
I’m betting and hoping that a lot of what the social media world calls “Meet-ups” are going to happen – as seemingly random moments like ours – at the lake. We are two guys – both practical men – who, through our individual paths have come to a place of meaning in our lives. This is what I call Like Minds Come Together.
This Meet-up – just this brief moment in time – restores my faith, and reminds me that plain, old, good-natured sharing makes me feel good!
Sergei tells me he’s not a computer guy, he takes the time to let his natural rhythm of thought flow. Guys like us do a lot of driving around in our pickup trucks – alone – listening to the radio and thinking about “stuff.” Our authentic selves are not hyperactively tweeting, emailing, texting. We reside in an old-fashioned parlor-of-the-mind, waiting for the knock on the door that says,
“I remember you! Come in for a chat.”
I am definitely calling up Sergei to share some brew … and laugh a little as well.