My friend Lisa, who lives in Arizona, texted me a picture of her front porch this week. She and her husband placed a small Ukrainian flag on their garden gate and decorated each side with cheerful sunflowers. “They’re Ukraine’s national flower,” she told me. When I clicked on the “live” photo, I briefly heard her porch fountain trickling joyfully. I immediately thought how my friend epitomizes the expression, “Be a fountain, not a drain!”
Lisa and I have known each other since junior high, but we’ve grown closer the past several years. She became a loyal supporter of my blog, and our friendship has blossomed over shared interests and views on life. I must admit, Lisa is more naturally positive and upbeat than I, and she inspires me to emulate her optimistic and elegant demeanor. The personal photo she texted me demonstrated her caring, empathetic nature, and the unmistakable sound of her garden fountain doubled its grace.
I love fountains, and I know Lisa does, too. The sound of running water and inherent symbolism bring us comfort and joy. Leonardo da Vinci said, “Water is the driving force of all nature.” Life can’t exist without water, and many of us find peace in its sight and sound. When I see a fountain, I hear myself humming that Sunday school hymn, “deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide…”
As she often does, my friend filled me up at a time when I could really use it. People like Lisa remind us to be a fountain, not a drain. She inspired me to sit by our own fountain and contemplate these ten ways to live more elegantly.
- Be calming. There are more than enough people in the world who like to stir things up and play devil’s advocate. Let your presence be a calming and helpful influence.
- Be energetic. The water in a beautiful 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 decorative 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 your cool.
- 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 noise!
- 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 conflict and disharmony in the world about which we can do little, but we can all work towards creating peace in our homes, relationships, and communities. §