Fountains of Creativity

Despite the fact that we live in the midst of the bustling suburbia that is Orange County, our little town of Orange stands apart from it all in some ways. It has this downtown that is something straight out of small-town America complete with the corner drugstore, local breakfast spot and antique stores. It stretches a block or two in each direction from the center of town, all of it orbiting around a circular park that is both affectionately and appropriately called The Circle.  Our two-year-old son, Finnden, loves The Circle mainly for the giant fountain that sits at its heart. He loves to straddle the edge of it, his legs dangling on one side and his arms on the other, as he splashes in the water.

A few weeks ago he discovered his own personal fountain in the form of the public drinking fountain there in the park. He spent the better part of half an hour turning it on and off, watching it pool, splashing and watching the water go down the drain. He kept trying to look down the spout to see where the water came from, and he finally couldn’t resist the urge to turn it on while sticking his finger as far into the little spout as he could. Watching him from a bench a few feet away, I suddenly found myself soaked. He had managed to make the water shoot eight feet or more by plugging most of the spout with his little finger.

Sometimes that’s how my creative mind works. Sometimes it seems that the new ideas are flowing and even if I wanted to try and stop them they’d just burst forth anyway.

Sometimes I don’t have any new ideas. Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be anything novel rattling around up there.

And sometimes I just haven’t made the margin. I haven’t taken the time or done the work to turn the fountain on and off, play, splash a little, watch the water pool and finally discover that I can stick my finger into the spout and make magic.