A decorative water fountain sits on our front porch. Every time I open the door to go out into the world, the trickling sound of the water urges me to be a fountain, not a drain.
When my father died a few years ago. I was given a gift certificate to purchase something special in his memory. My husband and I decided to get a fountain. We were at the garden store deciding between two designs. “I wonder which one my dad would like best,” I said. After several seconds of silence, Mike confidently stated, “He likes this one.”
“What makes you think so?” I asked. Pointing to the ground, he said, “He put that penny right in front of it.” Mike picked up the coin and put it in his pocket. That same penny has rested in the basin of our fountain ever since. (My husband continues to find coins left by my father the same way my mom knows every hawk is my dad flying by to say hello.)
The fountain is a sweet daily reminder of my father and the lessons he taught me. The elegant shape, soothing sound and inherent symbolism bring me comfort and joy. The continuous flow of the water represents the endless nature of unconditional love and the transcendent mystery of eternity itself.
Leonardo da Vinci said, “Water is the driving force of all nature.” Certainly, life can’t exist without water and many of us find peace in its sight and sound. When I see a fountain, I often find myself humming that Sunday school hymn deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide…
Among all of his words of wisdom, I never heard my dad use the expression, “Be a fountain, not a drain,” but he embodied the philosophy.
Ten Ways to Be a Fountain ~
- Be calming. There are more than enough people in the world who like to stir things up. Let your presence be a calming influence.
- Be energetic. The water in a lovely fountain is never dull and stagnant. Be full of energy and vitality.
- Be hopeful. Where there is water there is life, and life is always full of hope and promise.
- Be welcoming. A beautiful fountain beckons all to come closer and rest in its hospitality.
- Be cool. Angry, hot-headed behavior seems to be acceptable these days, but try to keep it cool, man.
- Be refreshing. The world can make us weary. Do what you can to refresh your soul and pass it on.
- Be cheerful. Bubbling water sounds a little like laughter. Make a joyful sound.
- Be gentle. Aim for your words and actions to be soothing, like water flowing from a fountain.
- Be clear. A fountain filled with dark, murky water loses its beauty. Be transparent and honest in your interactions.
- Be peaceful. There is so much disharmony in the world about which we can do little, but we can all work towards creating peace in our homes, relationships and communities. §