In Another Time and Another Place
In another time and another place there was a young man who found himself born on the shores of a lake more beautiful and refreshing than he could describe in words (though he would often try). How he had come to be there was something of a mystery only understood by the Master of the Waves who owned the waters and all who swam in them. Somehow the young man understood that his life near the waters had to do with memories of a terrible and killing thirst. Mostly though, he had simply learned to love the One who filled the waves and sent the gentle breezes to him, and who gave him the sweet stillness of the morning and the evening.
The God of the Waters
In the course of time he came to know that the waters were truly his, and would always be his. The Master had even given him a fountain, one that he could take with him into the dryness where men still went mad and died from the killing thirst that he himself had known. It seemed that the feel of the water and its fragrance, even its sounds as it splashed about him had become the very stuff of his life. When the God of the Waters had fully satisfied the young one He sent him back into the dry places with the assurance that his small fountain would be enough to cure even the worst of the killing thirsts. Even the nearly dead and delirious could make their way to the shores of his beloved lake if only they would take a sip.
The Property Owners Association
No one told him about the Property Owners Association. These were people who claimed to own the lake and the right to determine who got to swim, and when and for how long. They even claimed to speak for the Master of the Waves and insisted that the young swimmer forget about the water and pay more attention to cleaning up the lakeshore. Worse than that they insisted that the cure for the killing thirsts was just tidying up a bit and then going to work on the property owners’ pet projects. And do you know what? The young man was so naive and gullible, and they were so insistent and their leader so forceful that the young man believed them!
After Many Long Years
After many long years of intense labors the young man had such an odd thing happen to him… one day he somehow managed to get the scent of his beloved waters once again. It was so unexpected, and so welcome. Actually, it made him realize that his little fountain had nearly dried up and that he had begun to feel the effects of the killing thirsts all over again. He realized that he didn’t really belong to the Property Owners Association and didn’t want to and had done enough of their projects to last him a lifetime. More than that though, it was the water that drew him. Just the smell of it and the feel of it and its refreshing.
The Master of the Waves
The Master of the Waves, how good it was to see HIM again and to know His stillness and His gentle breezes. And the young man decided he had learned a valuable lesson. The Lake belonged to the Master after all, and the Property Owners Association really didn’t have much to do with the water, or with the Master either.
Copyright circa 1995 by Bob Shutes