We see fire hydrants every day, fortunately not often in use. But there they stand, along our route and near our homes — silent, patient reminders of our shared commitment to safety and community.
The fire hydrant, or "fire plug", dates back to the 1600s, when fire crews would prepare a water source by digging deep into the ground to reach the water table. Afterwards, they covered the well with a plug, so that they were ready. When a fire broke out they'd remove the fire plug and use a bucket brigade — a human chain — to move the water to where it was needed.
Fire hydrants are a great example of how previous problems can lead to not only solutions but commitment to our shared success. While no-one wants to experience such trouble up close, knowing that there is a chance for relief and support can give us all confidence and security.
Recently I saw a truck with two new fire hydrants, on their way to being installed. Like much of the infrastructure we depend on, including our electrical supply, the strength of fire hydrants is hidden — supporting what is visible — built on the endless river of human experience, ingenuity and compassion.
While each of us has our own walk in life, it is good to know that our families, friends and community are there to help. We are each other's bucket brigade. We are the strength around us.