Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Water World Revisited: The Joys of a Backyard Pond

By Susan G Parcheta July 7, 2011 LivingstonTalk.com

Do you ever wish you could stop time and revisit a scene from your past?
Do you ever wonder how your world can drift slowly off into a new direction, before you ever realize it?Do you find it odd — or comforting — that even though that happens, some things stay the same? Just that, perhaps you have to view them from a different, maybe even parallel perspective?

If I could freeze-frame a scene from the past, or restore it, I’d put the time machine on rewind; and I’d go back to…

Water World 1998
(Living Column: By Susan Parcheta, Fowlerville News & Views)

Our backyard has taken on a whole new dimension this year. We’ve succumbed to the pool and pond mania sweeping across the country.

The garden magazines, the newspapers, all feature the wonders of the backyard pond. The photos are beautiful…enticing you to try your hand at carving up your yard.

I never thought I’d be on a soapbox, encouraging people to create a water garden.  I never figured I’d be studying the environment of fish, frogs and snails…or pondering thoughts of water lilies.
Backyard pond, a frog oasis

Being around water is considered therapeutic. That’s why we naturally head for the lakeshore…the ocean…a stream. We love fountains, rivers and waterfalls. We’re transfixed by waves lapping a shoreline. We intuitively feel restored when surrounded by calm waters. “By the shore of Gitche Gumee, By the shining Big-Sea-Water,” penned Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of our land of Hiawatha.

Hydrotherapy is healing to body and soul: Nature has its own version. I’ve rested by the ocean in Florida, feeling the power and surge of endless waves curling up, dumping treasures of seashells. I’ve monitored the tides at Galveston and at the monastery at Mont St. Michel on the Normandy coast. I’ve felt the mystery of a night flight over the blackened ocean below, lit only by a shaft of moonlight.

I’ve visited the shores of Gitche Gumee.  This year, on my birthday–on the far reaches of the Keweenaw– I reflected on a magnificent sundown.  I tried not to blink, keeping my gaze steady as the searing orange-red ball that warms our planet melted silently into the watery cauldron. Surely this was Hiawatha’s song.