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photo by Christine K.

It was a pleasant fall evening in a long ago year and my DH and I were young and filled with adventure. We stepped downward, pausing to balance on one foot for effect, arms spread and tilted forward; or bending to scoop a hand through a curtain of water. All around the roar of cascading water fell while we walked on dry platforms with only the mist in our faces. We had just sold back the return tickets for our honeymoon and decided to stay in Texas.

When I think of the Water Gardens of downtown Fort Worth, Texas, I am reminded of that time when life was an adventure, we were fearless and willing to try new things.

Back then, I’d seen very few fountains. There was the one in the central area of Westwood Shopping Center of my home town in Idaho. But my mom always seemed to be hurrying us away. There were some at Lagoon Amusement Park—but we didn’t get there often and they were not as eye-popping as they are today. When I saw the Water Gardens of Fort Worth, I was astounded.

Photo by Dado M.

Built in 1974, and designed by Phillip Johnson, they are still a refreshing oasis in the middle of the city. Like a concrete caldera, they cascade downward toward a central pool. There are rectangular risers creating a path that draws visitor to the center.

Back then, when I walked the steps over man-created waterfalls I’d not experienced some of the adult trials that were yet to come. I was willing to accept whatever came: good and bad. But my glass was definitely overflowing.

Sometimes I wonder if, after the wearing experiences that have frayed the edges of my eyes-wide-open, arms-outstretched willingness, if I have lost something worth keeping. Life is full of changes, challenges, and chaos. But sometimes we have to venture down the precarious paths or sell the return tickets if we are to find ourselves in the midst of beauty or adventure.

This picture is from our visit long ago.

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