Now, I live by water: on a hillside a mile from the Pacific ocean in California and across the park from the Willamette river in Oregon.
Water in the form of rain nurtures both states. No Oregonian believes it ever rains in California. It's liquid sunshine the tourist brochures claim. At times, Californian drops, large as quarters, make Oregon precipitation look like spritzes.
In San Diego it will rain for ten minutes and cause waves to overpower the gutters and curl down the street to the sea.
Water also accompanies my creativity in mysterious ways. I call them water fairies, the invisible creatures who send messages to me in stains, glistens, and drips. They reveal creativity in puddles, glides, and streaks. Many leave patterns in the pavement I capture in photographs.
Elephant and bird
Clouds in a puddle
After years wrangling with a homeowner's water issues, I have discovered these fairies turn into gremlins who hang around to enliven my problem solving skills. As a result, I have requested gardeners and plumbers to go along with my humor and wriggle.
"Just dance for the water fairies, " I tease. Most do. Others smile with eye rolls.
When they dance to entertain the sprites who tease my homes, the animation causes the creatures to retreat . . . for awhile. Then they drip and drizzle to try my patience again. Laughter always helps me survive.
I turn into a water wrangler. It even sounds like fun.
Recently we noticed all the water in the toilets just . . . left. The bowls went dry. Then water spurted into the shower.
Plumbers discovered the elderly pipes that lead to the sewer by the street had turned to crumbles.
They added a 60 foot repair pipe that enlarged inside the damaged cast iron and took its place.
As soon as they left, the sprinklers began to drip in places. Did they feel neglected too? We laugh on, now that we can take showers and flush.
I must admit I feel brain weary as a wrangler in wonder of how to please the water fairies right now.
Continuing the laughter process keeps my stomach muscles tight.
I do have to ask: Why is the house not happy?
Maybe this current attention to their needs will cause an end to the hum that challenges our sleep at night? Another issue that needs to resolve.
I smile as the ants run races in the kitchen to distract me.
How great living like a turtle would help my state of mind. Turtles carry their homes on their backs. Exposed and hidden at the same time, they symbolize strength and perseverance. They have all they need. Coccooned and protected, they stick their necks out.