courtyard

The brick courtyard sparkled in a thousand shining rectangles, where the light bounced and danced off the more sunken stones, left slick by the morning dew. I wanted to hop over the wet ones, in a morning waltz, or perhaps more of a swing, but there were too many of them, scattered almost haphazardly but still with a sense of balanced symmetry that made it impossible. Surely, I would have fallen. Then again, some risks are worth it in this life, are they not? We are constantly striving to live safer, to live longer but does that dampen and deprive us of adventures we might have had otherwise?

The brick courtyard shimmered in a thousand radiant rectangles. The lamps cast their soft light downward where it reflected up in thin pools of water that had come to rest in the pre-dawn hours. One light above created hundreds of lights below, dancing together one with the others in a beautiful ebb and flow as I walked across the dry stones. I wanted to skip, to play, to join their dance and sing the songs of morning that were bursting from my heart…

And yet, I didn’t.

And that is something I may always regret.

The brick courtyard dazzled my eyes and set my mind racing with dreams of adventure. What might have been if only I had risked giving in to that moment? Likely nothing of great importance, no life changing epiphanies, or spiritual awakenings. But rather than telling you about that one time I saw a beautiful dance floor spread before me and I chose to walk, I would be telling you how I sashayed my way into the day instead. And who wouldn’t want to read that?

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three rivers

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There isn’t really a theme, per say, to the pictures I’m sharing this month or the stories I’m providing with them, but I think it would be fair to say that I’m fascinated with water.  I think part of it is from growing up in the desert and only getting to spend a week or two around anything that was a substantial amount of water: camping, visiting grandparents near the coast, etc…

But, even then, the ocean is so big it is hard to fully comprehend it or see it in the same category as land based water features like lakes and rivers.  And, while I love the Kings River, it isn’t all that big compared to what the rest of the country, and world, would consider a river.

So, when I find myself confronted with actual rivers, I am captivated by them.  I travel a lot so I find myself captivated a lot.  I’m not complaining, just explaining in a drawn out rambling sort of way why you are looking at picture of one river becoming two, in a place called Three Rivers.

 

a low water year

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If it had been a high water year, all you could see would be white foam and the flashing spray of thundering rapids.  If it had been a high water year, the rock I had stood on to take this picture would have been under the strength and fury of the river’s torrent.  If it had been a high water year, the rocks I’d hopped between to get out to the middle would have been washed further downstream.  If it had been a high water year, the road that hugs the precious space between the towering canyon walls and the cutting edge of the river would be visible.

But, the road was out of sight, the rocks remained and there were actually some small pools of relative calm among the larger storm of water, because it was a low water year.

wandering spirits

river mill bridge landscape wallpaper background
Image Credit: WallpaperUp.com

The wooden paddles dip gently into the stream and then pull free, droplets splashing from every surface, as the wheel spins around and around.  The near silent passing of the water beneath the mill tickles the air with its whispered murmurings.  The creaking of the tired joints is the only sound out of place in an otherwise serene setting.

Splotches of scattered clouds, small but stretching high into the heavens, race across the sky and leave a checkerboard of shade in the waving grasses along the stream.  The sun winks playfully as the game transpires.  The trees at the far edges of the rolling meadow sway ever so slightly while birds sing to the day and squirrels bicker teasingly.

Ghosts walk through the tall grass and dip their hands in the cool water.  They can’t be seen but are felt when eyes close and minds open to the wonders of the world.  Their lingering presence caresses the physical life they’ve left behind, in all forms and warmths, in a nostalgic fawning for what they remember but can no longer grasp.

There’s no need to fear these wandering spirits.  They cannot leach your energy or vitality.  They cannot usurp your dreams or flesh.  They simply envy that which they’ve lost and they enjoy the fleeting moments they can sense while passing nearby.  Their emotion, however, is as transient as their being and quickly dissolves and changes.

the talking heads

“You say you want a revolution, well, you know, we all want to change the world.”

Drip. Drip-drip. Drip.

The water pooled in the bottom of the cup slowly as the drops fell from the fully open faucet. The gush that should have filled the glass in a few seconds was non-existent. The unsteady beat of solitary beads was all that remained.

Drip-drip. Drip. Drip.

They, the talking heads of the media, had said that a solution would arise, that water delivery was not in jeopardy. Water, clean and dependable, was essential to continued life, and as always throughout history when a need was great a solution was found. Without water there was no hope of survival. It had been their first priority and they had failed.

Drip. Drip. Drip-drip.

The hand holding the glass began to shake with the strain of holding it in place. The pressure of not wanting to waste a single drop, the exertion of holding the receptacle of life as still as possible, the first signs of emerging dehydration all played their part. They didn’t dare turn the water off though to give their hand a rest, the concern the water wouldn’t come back at all was too great.

Drip. Drip. …

………………

Click. Click.

The lights flicked off and then immediately back on. A quick glance in that direction confirmed that nobody manned the light switch by the door. The disturbance was another rolling blackout as the electricity service was momentarily interrupted. They were growing more frequent as energy reserves were depleted.

Click. Click.

They, the talking heads of the media, had warned that some disruption to electrical utilities was unavoidable as efforts were being ramped up to conserve what remained, and new sources were sought. Then the power had shut off and when it had come back on the talking heads were gone and electric snow had taken their place. That only stood to confirm what most had known for a long time already, the talking heads had never really known anything in the first place.

Click.

………………

Bang. Bang-bang. Bang.

They, the talking heads of the media, had urged humans to retain their humanity, and had posited that there were high hopes that the fall of society could be done with a semblance of peace and calmness. They had been wrong, of course. When the water disappeared and the lights went off it was only a matter of minutes before gunfire erupted in the streets. The rule of the land quickly shifted to survival of the fittest with a gun.

Bang!

………………

“But when you talk about destruction, don’t you know you can count me…” in.

Perhaps if they had been more willing to turn to the gun as a solution sooner, perhaps if they had realized the talking heads only served their own purposes sooner, perhaps if they had been willing to fight sooner, there would have been a world left worth saving. However, when the water disappeared and the lights went off, it was much too late to initiate a change for the better.