I have this draft titled “single parents deserve a fountain” and no text, nothing written, until now. I have looked at my drafts and thought, “how odd, what was I thinking?” No doubt it is a phrase captured from something I read or heard that I wrote down to ponder later.
I don’t make lists, but I collect phrases that stir me. I suppose they are as useless as a leaf collection. As a child my leaf collection was made up of maple leaves, only maple leaves. I liked the different colours. Oak leaves had a lovely brown but Maple leaves, abundant where I lived came in a wide variety of colours.
The purpose of a collection is that it be studied, that it offers a comprehensive array. There is possibly nothing dumber than a collection of only one type of leaf or phrases without reference to where or who and what context…
“Single parents deserve a fountain”. Hmmm. I think of sitting at a fountain, outside in a public park in summer or inside a mall in winter, children dipping their fingers or perhaps their toes in the water, shouting gleefully as the water shoots up in sudden display, fascinated when they break the magical strand of an arching flow, while I am counting backpacks and socks and tossed hats to be sure nothing is missing, worrying about having enough snacks for the long trip home or having to spend money somewhere that I might not have, feeling the feeling that my bones are poking through stretched skin from exhaustion and briefly, ever so briefly sinking into the hard bench and laughing senselessly at the joyful display. I think of lovers meeting at a fountain, old people gathering on benches, the hopeful tossing coins and making wishes.
I have made my life a collection of un-authoritative recollections that are quite similar to a million recollections all over the world.
The other day I heard my ninety year old mother lament to a friend, “I’m not an authority on anything anymore.”
We all deserve a fountain. We need to sit and breathe the mist. Life is fleeting.