Dig Until You Find It

My hole, Bill's handiwork...

My hole, Bill’s handiwork…

“Change will lead to insight far more often than insight will lead to change.” Milton Erickson

When we discovered late Sunday afternoon that there was a water leak in our front yard I started digging a hole to find out where it was. I started digging and I kept digging. Past the sprinkler line which didn’t survive the onslaught of my shovel and further down into the soaked clay soil. I knew I was in the right spot because the water was clearly bubbling up from below, but how far down? I repeatedly bailed out the hole to make the digging easier but it was a slow, sloppy effort. I knew I was making progress and I knew that the source – probably the water line into the house – was down there somewhere but I just couldn’t find it. I had opened the hole to about four feet across and three feet down when it dawned on me: even if I found it I had no idea what I was going to do about it.

So I stopped.

I washed my hands, picked up my phone and Googled “water line leak and repair” in my zip code. The first search result was for RotoRooter and the second was a “how-to” video on YouTube. I clicked the video and while it was attempting to load (thanks iOS7!) I thought better of it. I thought about the value of my time, my relative inexperience, my lack of resources and the essential truth that expertise really does matter.

I made the call, made a drink, set-up a beach chair and had a seat in the driveway. The cavalry was on the way.

In total, it took Bill five hours, a second effort when his first fix failed, many phone calls to hardware stores to find the right kind of PVC glue, and a lot of sweaty muddiness to get the job done. And he’s the expert. Can you imagine what it would have taken me?

I absolutely love to solve problems and to get things done. And, I have a deep regard for knowledge and experience.

Sometimes it takes an hour of digging in the mud to figure out how to get the best of both.

One thought on “Dig Until You Find It

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