It all started with an inkling, a feeling I couldn’t quite put my finger on…
I was letting my legs wander me, about the outdoor grounds, with a good friend and one rambunctious little boy. The gray sky and cool sea air caused us to snuggle in our cozy sweatshirts, digging our hands deep in warm pockets, as our feet crunched on the loose gravel of the grounds.
A white stone statue of Michelangelo’s David stood unabashedly beside a giant-bellied Buddha. The Buddha’s laughing gaze fell across the way onto the graceful granite figure of the goddess Quan Yin. At her feet, lay a loyal stone dog and Cupid with his bow and arrow at the ready.
As we continued our meander, a giant metal tyrannosaurus rex greeted us with his frozen snarl. The curly haired, rambunctious one ran ahead, leading us right under a wild, metal horse rearing up on his hind legs, his rusted mane flaring out.
“There’s more here,” he yelled out enthusiastically. A hundred more of these still figures dotted the grounds, amid fountains of all shapes and sizes. In this silent commotion, we heard only our own voices and the steady, flowing water of the fountains.
This frozen outdoor world felt more like a strange planet than a statue and fountain store just above the bay, that we had happened upon, on our way to the coast.
L i s t e n
And, in this misty and magical place, I heard something–but not with my ears.
“There is something about this place. There is something I am supposed to pay attention to here,” came the vague notion.
The next day, my husband was off work. The misty inkling was still floating around in me and lingering in my bones. “You have to see this place,” I said to him.
We found ourselves back in the silent outdoor world of roaring lions and brooding Venus de Milo’s. Again, the only sounds were our hushed voices and the concert of trickling water from the fountains. It was as if they were speaking to me in an unknown language.
What were they trying to say?
As we made our way home, a heavy stone fountain weighing down the back of the truck, I was still pondering how it had all come to pass. Why on earth did we buy a fountain? Why did I feel so compelled? I did not know why, but the feeling was certain and unwavering.
A l l o w
Normally, we planned these kinds of things out. Saved for big purchases. Weighed pros and cons. Made rational decisions. My mind really wanted to go at it with me. It was chomping at the bit, reminding me of all the things we could have used the money for instead. However, that unexplainable inkling felt stronger than ever, even though I could not provide adequate, logical reasons to the critic in my mind.
When we got home, again, everything seemed to fall exactly into place. Contrary to my organized nature, I hadn’t even had the forethought to think where in the backyard we would house the new fountain.
Now at home, it was obvious. There was the one unfinished corner of the garden. Large flat stones already lay there, carefully put down years ago to create a small casual patio. Somehow though, that corner of the garden had never felt right. A lounge chair had made its way there at one time, and then a potted vine, but no one ever sat or played in this part of the garden. Now, it was the obvious place for the fountain.
The next morning, as she sat babbling happily in the corner, I walked as if a person in a dream. I followed my hands as they picked up various potted plants in the garden and set them around the fountain. I was surprised to see that our garden had become cluttered in some areas with my potted friends. But now these plants sat purposefully and perfectly around the base of the new guest.
T h e A n s w e r U n f o l d s
An hour later, as I looked at the transformed corner, I heard the fountain speak clearly this time, through her babble.
“Put the rogue next to me,” she gurgled.
I found myself carrying the “rogue chair,” the one we had found at a long-ago garage sale, the one that made its last minute way on camping trips, the one that found itself placed unceremoniously in ever-changing spots in the yard.
As I sank into the rogue chair, my eyes took in our small garden from this new vantage point. Everything looked different. And then everything became clear.
I am supposed to sit here. I am supposed to sit here. And just sit.
I laughed out loud, and relaxed even more into the chair. I leaned my head back, closed my eyes, and invited the golden warmth on my face.
I murmured a “thank you” towards the heavens and thoroughly enjoyed my gift from the Universe.