Daily Archives: February 1, 2013

Underground Connections

From greengardenaz.com

Not my house–From greengardenaz.com

During our hard freeze a few weeks ago, a lot of irrigation pipes burst. During my walk today, I saw a lot of repairs happening. Many of our front yards in Phoenix are xeriscaped–no lawn, just a mix of gravel, plants, and rocks. The effect can be lovely, but even those desert plants have to get water. We don’t flood them (flood irrigation is common in older parts of towns), we drip water at the base of each plant. This happen early in the morning, so no water is wasted in evaporation.

To bring the drip line to each plant, the yard is first dug up, a grid of pipes put down, small hose connectors attached, and then the gravel is placed over the pipes, hiding them. The system runs on a timer, and it works well. Until, of course, a freeze hits, and the pipes burst.

Simple pipe diagram for xeriscaped yard.

Simple pipe diagram for xeriscaped yard.

When a yard is dug up, it’s like seeing an X-ray of the yard. Most people forget about the complex system of pipes that run about three inches under the ground.

When I walked past a house in the middle of pipe repair, I thought of how home owners have to plan their yards to fit into a pipe system–you can’t just put plants anywhere, they have to be close to the water source.

And, of course, my next thought was that creativity works the same way. We can’t just jump from project to project. There needs to be a flow. And we can’t put thirsty, energy-needing ideas at the end of the supply source. Creativity, too, requires planning. And a lot of creativity is hidden, but planned and organized. Of course, connections are everything. If a connection breaks, you have to start digging to fix the project.  The timer has to be set to create a flow over time. It’s great to water your ideas once a week, but when things heat up, you’ll be upping the flow to make it last longer and more days a week.

It made me smile for the next half mile, coming up with how creativity is like the pipes in my yard. Of course, I’m easily amused.

--Quinn McDonald just came up with a great idea for a cover for the loose-leaf pages used in the inner hero book. She can’t share it, but it made her do the happy dance.