Water Babies Athirst

There was a whopper of a rainstorm in Dallas recently. We were at our friends’ home, enjoying a little birthday party, and heard a few low growls of thunder in pauses between the chatting and laughter but had no great confidence rain would follow. It’s been overcast or cloudy often enough lately without granting so much of the hoped-for watering as it seems to promise, so we never take it as a given that we’ll be watered nicely. Not, in this instance at least, until the front door smashed open under the force of sideways gales and blasts of firehose rain. Bashed open once, and closed; then, a second time. And latched tight; the neighborhood was pelted well and truly until just a little before we left for home.
Photo: Drinking-Fountain Fountain

At home, it appears, no rain had come at all. Our gardens and spirits remained thirsty. I’m quite certain that a coastal-born person of my Washington upbringing and Scandinavian roots is a little more water-conscious, if not obsessed, than average. But the hints of rain that do arrive here, whether in sky-splitting gouts that last but an afternoon or in a steady series of lightly sprinkling days as we are sometimes blessed to see, are a fairly universally admired gift. And I find that north Texas is hardly alone in this.
Photo: Swan Like

The traveling we did this summer in Europe had very few rainy days among the many sun-soaked ones, and while we neither regretted the warmth and light of the sunshine nor bemoaned the drizzling times, we saw plenty of people in Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Stockholm, Port Angeles and Seattle who relished their rain-baths and their waterfront or fountain-side relaxation every bit as much as we did. Even the swans, geese, ducks and waterfowl seemed all the more pleased with their daily peregrinations on the days of and after the rains.
Digital illustration from a photo: Falling, Falling

I think that there might be in all of us a certain kind of thirst that mere water only reinforces and reminds us is different from the sense of desire and hope that can fill our spirits. River or fountain, a strong and cleansing rain, ocean or streaming tears of joy, the only water that can quite slake our longing for wholeness and growth and hope is the remembrance that we are primarily made of water ourselves, and as such, will always seek a way to the well or the shore that reassures us we belong.

You Phony, I Thought You Said You Understood Euphony

digital artwork from a photographAfter Oktoberfest, Paying the Piper

There was a player of the horn who made it so euphonious

That every creature ever born was drawn to hear him play,

Until one sad, hung-over morn, its noise was deemed felonious

And all his beer-braised friends, forlorn, plugged ears and ran away.

The sweet euphonium was heard no more in that green-wooded land–

The deer and nightingale ne’er stirred, and Prost! rang out no more–

His fellow players, quite deterred, closed up their merry oompah band

Like some cage-covered myna bird, and silent, hid full sore.

What have we learned from this sad tale, so stricken, deleterious

And dark as Death’s bleak lowest vale, wherein musick’s so frowned

Upon the hornist sought a gale of storm and rain delirious

And in the deluge, shaking, pale, turn up his horn and drowned?

The moral, though you might just miss it, e’er so hard ye strive to think:

‘Tis sadder to have died like this than surfeited of hoppy drink.

So, prithee, play all on your trumpets, flutes, euphoniums–be not shy–

But keep them quiet, knaves and strumpets, post-drink mornings, lest ye die.digital artwork from a photograph