Sunday, October 4, 2009

Water for the Brain

The courtyard at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester has a fountain with this lovely stone and brick floor. While I was gone on my mission there, I missed my lake and paddling and more than all that, I missed the family I paddle with. The fountain drowned out the sounds of building air conditioners and ventilation fans and most of the sound of the helicopter ambulance that seemed to arrive many times every day. It reflected diamonds of sunlight from the spray of its nozzles and its surface shimmered watery crystals of light. When I took shortcuts through the courtyard, I would often stop and kick off my shoe and dip a toe in the water. If I had time, I would stop to sit on a nearby bench for a few minutes to just breath and be quiet and calm. The fountain grew to have a grounding effect for me, so that one day when I arrived earlier then usual to find the fountain still turned off for the night, it left me unsettled. I had to make a deliberate point to go back a little later, after the sun was up and the fountains turned on to refresh and calm myself before I felt fully well to face the day's adventures and uncertainties.

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