2009 – The Robert P. Felker Award for the Most Poetic Essay.
Hannah Lufkin, Colorado.
"People have an innate natural perfection which, distracted by daily living, we often forget." –Buddha
In the deep of a beautiful wood lies a still pool of collected water. How all the molecules of liquid came to form this presence has been forgotten, but in the deepest place of the pond is an ancient memory of fulfillment. It is because of this memory that water always regains its presence…
Deeply throughout human history are stories of generosity. The memories passed through books, word of mouth, and embedded in the teachings of religion contain the wisdom of how generosity has sustained society. These stories remind us of the generosity engrained in the human story. They keep the complications of a busy world from allowing greed to have a permanent impact on society.
…Presently, a lost Labrador driven mad by the city, stumbles into the clearing in the woods. Through his frantic condition, he notices a dead fly drifting across the surface of the water. The pond notices his presence and trembles, as the starved dog snatches this parcel of food off the surface of the water. The effect is powerful. Large ripples move through the water, crash into the side of the bank, and are sent rapidly back into the center of the pool. For a short time the water is restless. But, in the deepest place of the pond there is the memory of peace…
…The Labrador begins to whine. He gnaws desperately as his small parcel of food in an attempt to satisfy his large mouth. As the realization that this small insect cannot save him attacks his sanity, his last stroke of fearful determination sends him scrambling into the dark. For a moment, there is silence. The water is wary, but a sense of almost forgotten peace from the depths of the pond soon settles the liquid. And, in the deepest place of the pond, an innately perfect spring emerges…
…The spring sends out a small flow of water that creeps through the rocky crevices of the deepest place of the pond. This small amount of liquid cannot be noticed by the outside world, but because of it, the water begins to swell and then slowly rise. The gentle pressure brings the water to the tip of the pond-side.
And, the pond cries.
A cold trickle of persistent liquid escapes from the pond's edge in a slender rivulet, and sneaks through the underbrush, deep into the woods. It follows an irregular path, but its course is certain and its purpose determines as the water slips across the head of a panting Labrador, lying exhausted across the forest floor. Ever so softly, the rivulet creates the smallest puddle at the corners of the dog's mouth. And even more gently in the shadow of the forest, this dog takes a long cool drink.
…and from the deepest place of the pond, generosity has made its impact.
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