A Short Tale about Adam and Dowsing

Last summer our son Dylan and his best friend Adam came to visit Atira Moon. It was wonderful to see them, and particularly nice to have two strong healthy young men available to pitch in with chores.

The first day of their visit we were contemplating what sorts of things to accomplish. Number one on my list was spreading the accumulated horse manure. The problem was, a key part to the spreader machine, a metal pulley, had fallen off somewhere in the grass in our front field. The spreader would not work without that part, and we did not have a spare. I had searched the tall grass in the rather large field for the part a couple of times but had no luck finding it. Its a small brownish metal part, and a big field of tall brownish grass. Think “needle in haystack”.

I looked at Adam and had an idea. “Hey Adam, how would you like to try dowsing for that part?”

Adam had no clue what that meant. A short definition of dowsing is “Divining for something you desire.” Most people think about a forked stick and looking for water underground when they think about dowsing, and that is certainly one common description, but you can use dowsing to find just about anything.

He wasn’t sure. I then offered to make it more interesting. I really needed that part. “Tell you what, if you find that pulley, I’ll give you a 20 dollar reward.”

His face lit up at the prospect of a game plus a reward.

Tom had given me copper dowsing rods for Christmas last year and they were sitting on a table nearby. I showed Adam how to hold them near his side and allow the rods to swing freely. I showed him this photograph of me holding the part. (We had taken this previously looking for a locking nut to keep the silly thing from falling off)

I pointed to the big front field of grass. I said, “Just keep an open mind and walk around that field while thinking about finding that pulley. Let the rods point you in the right direction. When they cross you should be very close to finding it.”

I opened the door and said, “Its somewhere in that field, I have no idea where.” Adam grinned and headed out.

I walked back into the kitchen then and took glasses out of the cabinet to fix us all some iced tea. It was already a warm day and I figured Adam would enjoy a cool drink after stomping around the hot grass testing out the dowsing rods. I set the glasses on the counter and pulled out the ice cube tray.

I had not yet filled the 3 glasses with ice when Adam walked back into the house. He was holding the pulley and grinning as wide as I had ever seen.

“I walked right up to it.” He said. “The rods pointed the way and then they just crossed. I looked down and there it was.”

He must have been outside a total of less than 2 minutes.

Now how cool is that?