Thursday, July 13, 2017
Staying Within Our Bounds
This lovely little fountain sits in the middle of the bricked center square (on point) which forms the middle of the octagonal garden we fondly refer to as "the prayer garden". This garden is where the most special flowers grow; the blue and yellow Iris, as well as the Beverly Sills. Sunny south-of-the-border Indian Blanket Flowers lean out of each of the four beds to smile at passersby. The Fall-blooming miniature iris are in here as well. This is my place of peace, my spot to set aside frustrations, step inside the wooden fenced space and sit with Beauty....out of the wind.
There is a tall, wire tipi, covered with blooming honeysuckle on the north side, some Purple Cone Flowers, wild roses and an America Rose (which is currently being taken over by intense blue Morning Glories). There are also two benches and a beautiful arching butterfly chair. You enter the space through a tunnel of Wisteria, a tight, dark space opening into one which is open and bright. Ah, Frank Lloyd Wright would be proud. The fence posts are copper-capped and two Silver Maples reach over the walkways, providing much needed shade.
Day before yesterday, early, I was out weeding and sweating, like I do every morning, but that day I threw my hands up and called it quits. I retreated into the quiet of this garden, sat down on one of the benches and let my mind clear and my thoughts widen. I was watching the fountain and enjoying the music it tossed into the air. The water that splashed over the sides of its three bowls pooled on the pavers and then followed their branching patterns as it ran outward. I was remembering what Danny used to say about water: that it always takes the lowest, easiest route to its destination, and that it assumes the shape of whatever vessel contains it. Danny was interested in water, chemically, because it breaks several of the rules of chemistry. I love water because I think it is a holy thing, a connection to the sacred.
Okay, back to the story. Let me first say that I had to replace the pump in this fountain this Spring. I happened to have an extra pump, reclaimed from a different fountain which fell apart, and the switch was an easy one. The problem is that this pump is a little bigger and therefore the water flows with too much pressure, just a little bit too much, so it splashes out of the bowl, runs down the side of the upright and onto the bricks. I have been watching this happen for several months. Every morning I refill the bottom bowl and clean off the pump intake grill. It's no trouble.
What is troubling to me is that I have watched this for all these months, knowing a little about fountains, and never remembered that there is an adjustment valve on the pump. (I'm not proud of this realization and would normally not bring it up in public, but I have a larger point to make here. Bear with me.) I finally did realize it that day and stepped over to close the valve a little. Sure enough, the water smoothed out and none was lost over the sides.
After shaking my head at my own foolishness for not remembering something so simple, a thought came to me. "You are like this fountain, Deb. You pump too fast and run yourself dry too often and have to be refilled over and over. What you need to do is ease that valve shut a little bit and stay within your bounds." That is the truth, on so many levels.
After a while I went inside, picked up the phone and called someone to come out and mow my lawn, trim my trees, and weed the overgrown edges of the gardens on the north and east side of the house, things I would never have the energy to get done. They are working on it now and I am inside writing, something I love to do, and which is better for my health than working as the grounds keeper.