credit Photo Malaya
Brooke is leaning over the side of the pool. Her arms are draped up and over the wall and spread lengthwise before her.
Periodically, she scoops a handful of water and pours it out onto the concrete.
After watching her for a while, I sidle up next to her. I sit quietly for a minute, mirroring her.
“Whatchadoin?” I ask.
“Watching,” she says.
“Whatcha watching?” I ask.
“This,” she says, dunking a slender finger into the stream of water on the concrete. Her finger nudges it gently toward the grass.
“Can I watch too?” I ask.
“Uh huh,” she answers.
Together, we watch the water as it snakes its way toward another tiny stream, then joins it, getting fatter and ever so slightly deeper at its head. The sun glistens on the tiny pool, illuminating the water. It’s breathtakingly beautiful.
“Thank you for showing me this, Brooke,” I say quietly. “It’s beautiful.”
Without another word, she slips back into the water and the moment has passed.
I linger, watching the water make its slow journey for just another minute. I can’t bear to pull away yet.
It will take me all afternoon to remember his name. Michael Moon, an autistic man whose words I’d discovered years ago. What had he said about water? The words will come back to me slowly. He’d called it a collection of dancing interlocking patterns that each needed attention. Yes, that was it.
Later, I will look up his words. I will nod as I read them, just as I did when I first stumbled upon his article four years – a lifetime – ago.
I’m still nodding, but differently now.
“It turned out all she could see was the fountain; she’d taken it in and was ready to move on to the next sight. I hadn’t finished looking at the fountain yet because, to my vision, the fountain was a collection of dancing interlocking patterns that each needed attention. Though it took me much longer to take in that fountain, I realized that the richness I experienced was so much deeper than most people ever see. I began showing her the textures in the water, the way you could see the individual water drops held in mid air sparkling in the light, the unusual colors blended in the pool .. endless vignettes that to me were huge and visceral and to her were just a fountain.”
I will read one line again.
And again still.
The richness I experienced was so much deeper than most people ever see.
Yes, I will think, that’s it.
I will be overwhelmed with gratitude.
And vibrating with possibility.