Riffles, Swirls, Heavy Rains….Time, Precious Time

Looking-glass River

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Smooth it glides upon its travel,
Here a wimple, there a gleam–
O the clean gravel!
O the smooth stream!

Sailing blossoms, silver fishes,
Pave pools as clear as air–
How a child wishes
To live down there!

We can see our colored faces
Floating on the shaken pool
Down in cool places,
Dim and very cool;

Till a wind or water wrinkle,
Dipping marten, plumping trout,
Spreads in a twinkle
And blots all out.

See the rings pursue each other;
All below grows black as night,
Just as if mother
Had blown out the light!

Patience, children, just a minute–
See the spreading circles die;
The stream and all in it
Will clear by-and-by.

4 Responses to “Riffles, Swirls, Heavy Rains….Time, Precious Time”

  1. 1 Tak Sung
    December 27, 2009 at 09:58

    In 1762, Benjamin Franklin repeated an experiment first performed by Pliny, which he reported in A Letter from Benjamin Franklin to William Brownrigg, 1773:

    “At length being at Clapham, where there is on the common a large pond which I observed one day to be very rough with the wind, I fetched out a cruet of oil and dropped a little of it on the water. I saw it spread itself with surprising swiftness upon the surface; but the effect of smoothing the waves was not produced; for I had applied it first on the leeward side of the pond where the waves were greatest; and the wind drove my oil back upon the shore. I then went to the windward side where they began to form; and there the oil, though not more than a teaspoonful, produced an instant calm over a space several yards square which spread amazingly and extended itself gradually till it reached the lee side, making all that quarter of the pond, perhaps half an acre, as smooth as a looking glass.”

    Gladness is like oil, just apply a “teaspoonful” by seeing the good in the situation, and by applying the smallest amount of laughter.

    I can’t remember where I got that reference., sorry about that.


    • 2 SwittersB
      December 27, 2009 at 10:05

      Very wise, very kind. It is true, difficult but true. The gentle dispensing of kindness in hard times does work magic, if not instantly then gradually like Tak’s gradual calming of the pond. Thank you.


  2. 3 FlyGuy
    December 26, 2009 at 17:26

    I only have a little time
    To say those things I should
    I only have a little time
    To say those things I never could.

    I think if we love someone..don’t ever leave it left unsaid. You may never get the chance again! My friend is dying, and your sentiment made me think about how hard it is right now. I know it will pass and things will flow like normal, but it sure is gloomy right now!

    The guys in Bozeman send regards.



  3. 4 FishinWishin
    December 26, 2009 at 16:10

    A very good thought.

    Warren F.


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