A fascinating vitality

Jeff at Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire, May 2009

Jeff at Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire, May 2009

“Moving water…has a fascinating vitality. It has power and grace and associations. It has a thousand colors and a thousand shapes, yet it follows laws so definite that the tiniest streamlet is an exact replica of a great river.” Roderick Haig-Brown

We lived in Memphis during the years Jeff was in dental school, and I loved the city for many reasons, but what I loved best was the mighty Mississippi River.  I never tired of sitting on the bluff at Tom Lee Park and watching the river flow.

There’s something mesmerizing about watching water in motion.  Ocean waves, woodland brooks and waterfalls all have a calming quality, lovely to the eyes and soothing to the ears.   It’s no wonder there are so many indoor and outdoor fountains that enhance the appeal of parks, city squares and indoor atriums everywhere.  But even the most beautiful fountain is no match for the experience of standing on a riverbank, wading through a creek or feeling the cooling mist of a waterfall.

The hot days of August are perfect for enjoying the beauty of water.  Head for a nearby park that has a creek or waterfall tucked away on a shady trail, or take a few minutes to enjoy a fountain at a plaza, hotel or shopping center.  If you don’t have time to find one in real life, enjoy the sights and sounds recorded here or here or here. I’m wishing you a few minutes of cool mental refreshment on this warm August day!


  1. While in the White Mountains, did you see the “Old Man of the Mountain”; or had he already lost face (in a more tangible way than spoken of in Asia).?

    • Alas! The “Old Man” was gone by the time we were there – I can only see him on the occasional quarter!

  2. Sheila

    Good morning, Julia. I bet Jeff always looks over his shoulder with a smile, knowing a photo might be coming. Great picture! After reading Upper Room and your blog, I sat here in my kitchen,looking at the calmness of the ocean and enjoying simple pleasures. I promised God I’ll never take these blessings for granted. Thank you for what your friendship brings me everyday. Sheila

    • Thank you, Sheila. Yes, my family is accustomed to always being in photos. None of them are crazy about it (even Pasha showed a distinct aversion to my camera) but I think Jeff dislikes it most of all. When I first started this blog, he kept telling me NOT to put anything about him WHATSOEVER online, but I kept telling him “this blog is about my life, and YOU are such a big part of my life, how can I not put your photos online?” So he has gotten fairly tolerant of it. I cannot imagine what it would be like to sit in my kitchen and look out at the ocean in the morning! It’s wonderful just reading about it. Thanks for sharing with me!

      • Sheila

        Julia, funny how men are different like that! Bill’s comment this morning was”Great day to go offshore fishing!” We were looking at the SAME ocean but having such different thoughts. You can pull up a chair with me anytime. Love,Sheila

        • Sheila, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one whose husband sees things so differently! The good part is that it can be thought-provoking or in the very least, great comic relief!

  3. That’s a beautiful spot in your photo Julia. As you know, my life has been spent living next to a lake. It’s very different to city living and there’s been some growing pains. Our neighbours have a giant raft that we could all float around on, we even bbq’d out there. We’re lucky to live downtown where there’s a beautiful park near by with a small pond and fountain and our legislative grounds has a very large fountain and reflection pool a few blocks in the other direction. We don’t get the kind of heat you suffer thru but we still enjoy cooling off on our warm days. Water can bring a community together.

    • Yes, I think my parents had the kind of raft/boat you are describing; a pontoon floater that my mom called “a party boat.” Water does bring people together, since so many of us are drawn to it in various forms. I think it would be a bit of a shock to go from a lakeside home to a city dwelling, although each has its charms and advantages. For years I told Jeff that someday I wanted a pied-à-terre in the city, and I guess our townhome in Alexandria is close to being just that. I must admit I like dividing my time between what I call a “rural suburban” home and an “urban suburban” home. This was meant to be a temporary arrangement, only for a few years, but I’m already trying to talk Jeff into keeping both! 🙂

  4. MaryAnn

    What a lovely photo of Jeff and the gorgeous water flowing! I can “hear” it, it looks so real even in this image. My favorite spots on Earth have water involved: oceans, creeks, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, on & on. Last week, our grandson, Aaric was swimming in Lake Tahoe at King’s Beach. He came up out of the water with 2 hands full of trash. I was so proud of him!
    He said he had to dig it out of the lake bed. We have been doing Beach Clean-up for years on the CA coast (September @ year).
    I love how your mind works! Thanks for the ideas, keep them coming!
    Love to my Denton family…….

    • Thanks, Mary Ann! Tell Aaric he’s doing good work. It’s a shame you need to do beach clean up at all, but I’m glad there are people willing to do it! I find so much sea glass at the beach, I wonder how all those bottles get in the water to start with! I’m so happy you enjoy the blog. All your Dentons love you too!

  5. Carolyn

    Love the picture of Jeff and the water. I love places like that. No news today, just enjoy reading your blogs. Love to all.

    • Hi Carolyn! Jeff and I have learned to appreciate the old saying that “no news is good news.” I know you understand! I’m glad you like the photo. It takes me back to that wonderfully cool and quiet setting. I wrote that post when it was HOT, HOT, HOT and I needed something refreshing. As it happens, we’ve got a few cool days here lately and it has been wonderful. Love to you and Terry.

  6. Nancy

    You will LOVE Yellowstone’s rivers and waterfalls when you guys finally make it!

    • Thanks Nancy, I tend to think only of “Old Faithful” when I think of Yellowstone, but from what you have told me, I realize there is so much more there. Keep praying and we may just be able to make that trip in the next few years! Thanks for being here.


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