Rock, Water, Art, and Child-Like Remembering
Today, I’m blessed with some quiet time to write at the library, and outside my writing window is a lovely rock sculpture and fountain. To my eye, it looks like a modern rendition of stacked stone cairns, those soul-filled stacks of rocks that you find along paths and beaches that beautiful pilgrims have slowly and patiently assembled. They are markers along the spiritual journey. The sculpture is a rendition in three stacks. (Isn’t it interesting how beauty arrives in the trinity of three-ness, but that’s a subject for another writing). The three stacks have an interestingly human body shape and mirrors a small family of three. Up through the middle of these rock stacks rises water that flows out of the top and cascades down across the body of the stack until it reaches the rocky ground below. I am grateful to the artist as well as for the good use of public funds to place this bit of beauty here.
My eye catches families walking by this area of the library garden and I start to notice a curious pattern. The young children, perhaps 6 years old or less, almost all stop and stare at this rock fountain. And not one single adult stops to admire it. I notice several children calling out to their parent and asking to pause to look at the rock fountain, but none stop. A couple of bold children pause anyway as their mother or father moves on and then run to catch up. Their eyes grow wide and they smile. I can not help but wonder what they are seeing. Beauty. Nature. Spirit. Moving water. Family. Trinity. Relationship. Earth and Water dancing. One young lad reached out a finger to feel the water as it washed over the rock. And then looked at the water on his hand and smiled again.
To the child’s soul, who perhaps is closer to the memory of the Creator that brought them into the world, the rock and the earth that it illustrates is a feel of the goodness and beauty of the Creator spoken into our material world and speaks to our hearts at very primitive levels. And maybe the water is the cleansing and life-sustaining flow that courses through and over us all. I am grateful to these children. And I am particularly thankful for the wee soul who placed his finger in the water and then offered a smile at his baptized hand. I can’t help but think that he knows something very important and that he remembers something way down deep in his being. As I leave the library today I will go stand in front of this bit of art and place my hand in its lovely offering as well.
— Kirk Webb