By Patricia Crane, Ph.D.

We are irresistibly attracted to water; it nourishes us on all levels of our being. We use water as an energy force, putting it to work for us, as well as a source of inspiration, spiritual blessing, and physical cleansing. It is essential to life as we know it. In the words of the ancient Chinese sage, Lao-tzu,"The highest good is like water, for the good of water is that it nourishes everything, without striving"

All great civilizations either evolved around major water sources, or they developed ways to bring water to them. With modern technology it becomes ever easier to"Bring Mo-hammed to the mountain", so to speak, and that is essentially what people are doing in ever-increasing numbers with water or, in this case, water fountains, (water feature if you are into Feng Shui), bringing the soothing, healing energy of water from outside, inside.

Indoor, tabletop water fountains have become so popular that mass- produced inexpensive models can be purchased as impulse items for as little as $30.00 at the checkout stands in your local supermarket. On the other hand they can also be found in specialty shops for $3,000 and even more!

A little more than two years ago, Rick Nichols saw a tabletop water fountain he liked very much, for sale in a metaphysical book store. At the time, as Rick states,"I was a member in good standing of the "Between Jobs Midlife Career Change Due to Corporate Downsize/Layoff Club" and had little money to spend on such things", but that reality did little to subdue the desire to have a water fountain at his bedside.

So, employing the"Can Do, Never Say Die" spirit learned from years of clawing his way along a career path, Rick studied closely the fountain in the store, (while the shopkeeper was busy dusting crystals and candles), and went home to reproduce, this lovely fountain."As it turned out", Rick says,"it wasnıt as simple to create this fountain as I thought. There were challenges immediately in just locating materials; the right colors, size, and price of bowls, stones, crystals etc., were unexpectantly difficult to find.

And then there was the incident with the water pump. Wanting to be sure his fountain would have a good strong flow to watch, and a healthy "Babble Babble" to listen to, he purchased a pump that he was sure would be up to the task. Rick soon became reacquainted with the old adage, "Bigger is not always better". Consequently when he fired up his little water fountain he had a gyser that would shame the famous Spouting Horn in Kauai! There are still spots on the ceiling.

Rick has gone on to make and sell many fountains since the adventure of creating his first, and he says he really enjoys the creative outlet. However, he is now devoting more time to teaching others how to create and build their own tabletop water fountains for fun and profit, than in building them himself. Wanting to help others enjoy this delightfully creative activity and to avoid the pitfalls inherent in trial-and-error methodology Rick wrote a how-to book."In The Flow of Life", How To Create and Build Beautiful Indoor Water Fountains" is an easy-to-follow book that guides you, step-by-step through the process of building three different styles of tabletop fountains. It includes illustrations, photos, and hints on where and how to acquire materials, along with a dash of Rick's back- yard philosophy, and is written in a light, humorous style.

So, waking up one joyous morning and finding himself a wildly successful published author, (one how- to book, 28 pgs., $9.95, with a whopping 500 copies in print, distributed by The Cranes Nest Publishing Co.) Rick began the task of marketing and distributing his literary masterpiece. "Now, I may be wrong", Rick said,"but it seems to me that most of the people buying the book were from Missouri, you know, they kept saying "Show Me!, Show Me!", so I decided to do the"show and tell" workshop routine"

Rick said,"The first workshop was really more of a demonstration than a workshop ‹ it consisted of my building a"Bubbler" type water fountain in front of a group of these"Show-Me" people". For those uneducated in the lingo of"Fountin-ese", a"Bubbler" is basically a bowl of rocks and water with a pump for circulation. It is called the"Bubbler" because that is what it does; it just sits on the table bubbling and gurgling away. Although simple, the"Bubbler" can be very pretty depending on the combination of bowl, rocks, crystals, ceramic figures i.e..; frogs, turtles, angels, fairies, etc., one chooses to use. As an extra incentive to attend a"Bubbler" demonstration a drawing was held at the end of the 1-1/2 hour program and the fountain created that evening was awarded to the winner, a very popular part of the demo.

Even after this Rick said people are often still said"Show Me! Show Me More!" He said,"They want to learn how to build"The Falls", and"The Shell", so they might have water features in every corner of their home and business, custombuilt, to their own specifications, and at a price they can afford"

And so the big workshop was created. This is a full day, approximately seven hours of roll your sleeves up, get your hands wet and dirty, drill holes in rock and glue it all together, hands-on, create your own water fountain, (under close supervision and guidance), and take it home with you at the end of the day kind of workshop. Rick offers one to two ³Bubbler" demonstrations, and one full-day workshop per month.

He limits the full-day program to twelve people in order assure that he has plenty of time to spend with each person. All materials needed to create a 14" (approximately) water fountain with a cascading water fall made of natural slate rock, accented with quartz and amethyst crystals are provided and included in the cost of the workshop. Rick tells me this workshop has been very successful, and that attendees are creating some really beautiful works of art."The variety of creative ideas bubbling forth from these people is astounding," he said,"I always discover by the end of the day that the participants have a thing or two to"Show Me" about making water fountains, and I am thrilled to learn the lesson!"

Rick Nichols is an international speaker, openhearted adventurer and spiritual seeker. He has a passion for life, and believes that love, laughter and beauty are the most powerful healing forces in the universe. To learn more about the monthly water fountain workshops and other spiritual growth and life-enrichment programs offered by Rick and his partner, Patricia Crane, Ph.D., call (714) 969-9383 or e-mail: rick@healthhorizons  

Return to the July/August Issue Index page