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Copyright 2009-2010 by
Mary Brotherton
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Inside my Brain

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Monday, June 06, 2005

Several years ago (I was still living in Atlanta!) the woman who is now my mother-in-law gave me the gift of a small, table-top fountain. She was in the habit, at that time, of putting clues on her Christmas gifts; the gift could not be opened until the riddle was solved. Her intention was to prolong the gift opening activity, so that it became a ritual, a ceremony, a tradition. Most of her clues were corny, and obscure -very difficult to solve.

When she gave me a pair of blue denim capris, her clue was "____ Hawaii, The Isle of ______". I thought the two clues went together, but she wanted me to guess BLUE CAPRI. I never got it. Many of her clues have been the fill in the blank type, and some have been totally "out there", but her gifts have always been from the heart.

For instance, the very first time I met my husband's family was on Christmas Eve - more than six years ago! I didn't know them, and they sure did not know me. Curtis wanted me to meet his family, but he had told them little about me - even when his step-mom asked what sort of things I liked. He told her that I always smell nice, I like Angels, the ocean, and reading. He said he didn't know what else to tell her. I had no idea who to expect, or what to give them, so I just sent the household one of the most elaborate flower arrangements I have ever bought. It was appreciated, as were the gifts they gave me.

I have no idea how she knew that Anais Anais is one of my favorite colognes, but she did. She also gave me a beautiful glass dolphin, springing from the waves; a small book, a small Angel ornament, and a handful of other well thought out gifts. I was clueless about how to solve most of her clues that year, but I soon learned how to manage. I actually could solve other people's clues more easily than my own. Each year, she asks me for a wish list, and I find it hard to tell her all the things I want - she always gives me the most exquisite fulfillments of my practical wishes. It's difficult for me to say "gimme, gimme, gimme!" but I manage to - just for her!

The year that she gifted me with the fountain, her clue was a long one, but easy for me to guess, somehow. She had written "To soothe all of your senses, mind, body, and soul." I thought for a few seconds before I suggested that it was a fountain. She admitted my success, but then asked how I could have guessed. I told her that I figured that a water fountain would make a soft noise that would soothe my ears, and hoped it had candles to ease my eyes, scented candles for my nose, but I had no idea what could have appealed to my sense of taste or touch. She admitted that to be a bit of a stretch.

When I opened, the box, I found a small square base which held a pyramid of 4 cream colored "candles" with vanilla scented votives to go in the opening at the top. There were smooth river rocks to use as decoration and though pretty, I have since enhanced my fountain. At Lancade, we colored the water a bright blue, and it still looks very pretty as it cascades down the sides behind the first small pillar. I have added colorful marbles, glass beads and even some spiritual gemstones to the fountain's base. Now, the water flows over quartz crystals, Jasper stones, rubies, aquamarine, garnets, amber, and numerous other special stones...even a small piece of Georgia Granite that my stepson gave me.

The fountain now sits near my computer and the soft trickle of water reminds me of a woman's love for giving gifts and for pleasing her family. I light specially scented and colored candles to represent my desires, wishes, and prayers, and I enjoy as it IN joys me.