The Pure Stream

From a mountain lake flowed two streams. One took a natural course down the slope, tumbling quickly through a ravine. It picked up sediment from its bed and gradually turned murkier as it went. Hundreds of feet below, it spilled into another basin to form a second lake. This lake’s surface had a flat, opaque appearance, hardly penetrated by light. Thin, stunted shrubs dotted the lake’s edge.

The other stream flowed up the mountain. The water moved slowly as if purposely fighting gravity and deliberately picking its way upward. It slipped over pebbles and dirt, leaving all debris where it lay; sunlight and moonlight by turns sparkled from its clear surface. Near the top of the mountain, this stream flowed through a tunnel into a hollow. Within the hollow spread a natural garden full of grasses, flowers of all imaginable hues, thick bushes, and towering trees, all fed by the pure water.

Photo by Inge Wallumru00f8d on

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