A little water can irrigate the soul

There is something about running water that is tranquil, calming, soothing. Even the barest trickle over rocks and you can find your mind relaxing, drifting off somewhere to quiet scenes and comforting thoughts. Combine torleyheader062314it with birdsong, and tensions can just melt away.

Our land is bordered by a river perhaps 3 or 4 meters wide. It tumbles down the hill and rushes toward the lake. We can hear it in the distance and enjoy its remote rumble. But there is another flow of water closer to the house that is  even more pleasant. A little stream in the arroyo where I have the shade garden, a gentle stream that fairly bubbles over the stones, light and carefree. Gardening can be hard work and it is made easier by the sound of water over rock. Just pause between loads of stone or shovels of soil, listen and relax.

Of course, you may not have naturally running water on your property but that can be remedied in any number of ways. It all depends on the size of your property and how far the sound has to travel to soothe your labors.

If you have a small yard or just a balcony with potted plants, the solution is easy – you need a fountain. These are usually pre-made, easy to find, easy to set up, and not very costly. They provide the delightful sound of running water for a small area. But what if you have a larger property?

A number of people I know have built small ponds with fountains or waterfalls on their property. They surround the pond with plantings and finish off with things like water lilies, water hyacinth or perhaps some bog plants at the edges of the pond. Then come the fish.

Fish? Well, naturally you want some fish in there. What could be more tranquil, more relaxing after a hard day of gardening than to sit by the edge of your pond, listen to the sound of the water over stones, a margarita in one hand and a fistful of koi food in the other. The koi know. They have been waiting for you. During the day, they have been nipping around the pond munching on mosquito larvae (another reason for fish) waiting for you to come with food.

You feed them lazily, not too much at a time, enjoying the sound of them breaking the surface. A sip of margarita, a toss of food. Your spouse is by your side, glass in hand, enjoying the sound and the sunset.

This is the life.

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