What is it about fountains that make people go, ahhh, or that entice little kids to run through them (clad or unclad)? You know how they make you feel happy in either a peaceful kind of way or in a ‘yippee it’s a party’ kind of way?

I’ve been thinking about this for off and on for a while now.  My posts “Place” and “Gonna Take a Sacramental Journey” back in April reflected on how certain environments and elements awaken in us a deeper connection with our spiritual self.  And just as certain religious rituals provide sustenance for the soul (my grandmother was nourished by the food of daily holy communion for years), the sight, sounds, and sometime scents of moving water always brings me back to myself. 

I hear the continual but varied splashing of water against stone and it calls to me from an open window. My simple little wheel of a  fountain blends into the landscape like a miniature grist mill’s stone. Tucked into a shady corner of rambling pink rose bushes and low-lying Vinca (the prolific green ground cover with bright purple flowers),  it is your ear that first finds it. I love to hear the sound and even from an upstairs window, I can almost feel it. And it’s not just fountains either….it’s water than moves continually and evenly uneven, rhythms as varied as our own breath. 

I recall spring and summer days as a small child where I would spend an hour in the late afternoon with nothing but a twig as my paintbrush and I would pull stones up out of the water’s bed, sit by the gurgling brook in the woods behind our house letting them dry, and then “painting them with water again” to watch the colors change.  The coolness of that busy brook emanated right up to the mossy patch from where I took my respite, sometimes for a moment so tiny I would only catch it when a breeze sent it to me.

My current front yard fountain and my old back yard brook shared similar sounds of quiet tinkling.  I am grateful for their offerings.

Then, there are the ones that are “OH, WOW”.  I have had the great blessings to have seen, felt, heard, and yes, even smelled, the many incredible ancient and modern fountains that dot all of Italy, especially Rome.  The Trevi Fountain with its awe-inspiring statues and the pool filled with coins from luck hopeful tourists is heart lifting joy.  For me, these fountains, each more beautiful than the next, was like my children on their visit to Disney World.  They ran from one exhibit to the next…”Hey, Mom, look at this!  Hey, Mom, come over here quick, look at this!”

That is exactly how I feel. Get me around fountains or bubbling brooks or the ocean or a rushing river or oh yeah, A WATERFALL (so cool, such a rush) and yet all of these simultaneously peaceful. 

So on this last day of July, for us here in New England perfect bliss, you’ll find me near the water, listening.



  1. Dear Nun Tuck,

    Those crazy Sufis, would comment that the sounds of running water appeals to our subconscious and repressed memory of our pre-birth days in Paradise, when we were ministered by who-knows-what-heavenly-creatures, beside the delightful fountain of Khautar ( I am not sure I got that spelling right). The fountain is said to have four corners.

    Anyhow, I humbly offer to share with you a little something I recorded, 7 years ago. By happy happenstance, it was called the Fountain. I hope you like it.

    71. The Fountain
    I approach the Fountain
    And reflected in its waters I saw the sky,
    As I came closer
    I saw the mountains and trees,
    As I came closer
    I saw the meadows and valleys,
    As I came even closer
    I saw the hosts of humanity,
    As I arrived and peered straight into its waters
    I saw no one,
    No meadows,
    No valleys,
    No mountains,
    No trees,
    Not even the sky.
    I only saw I.

    • Oh Taufiq, “The Fountain” is beautiful!! It is so lovely and encapsulates so much about the mystery of our existence here. I have already shared it with two friends and they both agreed, “Wow!” It reminded me of one my favorite American poets, Walt Whitman. He wrote a collection of poems called “Leaves of Grass.” Perhaps you have heard of him?

      As for those “crazy Sufis”, theirs is a tough theory to prove, one way or another. But I like how by creating this story, about the past and the future, they are giving us something magical and comforting, here and now.

      With blessings on your day, wherever it has taken you or will take you, Nun Tuck

      P.S. Very insightful comment regarding my post “Minding Your Own Business”…if you knew me, you would laugh out loud….it is so hard for me to keep my mouth shut when my “little self” needs to assert itself. I pray always that God put one arm across my shoulder and the other one over my mouth!!!

      • Dear Nun Tuck,

        Thank you for your kind words. I am happy that you find the little prose to your liking. I know of Walt Whitman, but I am unfamiliar with his work. I must confess to you that whether it is western or eastern poetry, I am true ignoramus.

        I find your writing poignant, descriptive and alluring. It lulls me into a true sense of security. And can make me hungry (re your tribute to Summer Afternoon).

        I am sure God can accommodate your prayers. But maybe God feels that there is more entertainment value to let Nun Tuck to assert her wilful views? … And let’s face it, if He didn’t have a wry sense of humour, I don’t think He would have created mankind.

        Have a great today and a better tomorrow for all the todays and tomorrows that Fate has in store for you.


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