Social network: so many posts, so many photos, it’s either the network news, National Enquirer, the purveyor at times of “T.M.I.” (Too much information), sometimes too, it is joyful and encouraging. Not too long ago, someone posted: “The Pessimist says ‘My cup is half-empty.’ The optimist says: ‘My cup is half-full.’ The Psalmist says: ‘My cup runneth over.’”
The last portion of that quote set my mind into action “My cup runneth over.” Now, over a half-century ago in a classroom with polished hardwood floors, big windows with transom windows above that were opened with a long pole and a hook, a “maiden lady,” the late Miss Virginia Bell, a direct descendant of the oldest Anglo family in Hamilton County — Bellville was named for her family — and who taught generations of White Springs, Florida, children, had all her first graders memorize the Twenty-Third Psalm. In my childish mind when we reached that part “My cup runneth over,” I always thought of the gourd dipper kept at the farm used to drink water when Daddy or Uncle Warren would pump water, cold, refreshing water from the depths of the earth using a pitcher pump. Drinking cool water from that dipper was, in, and of itself, an event in my young life.
A cousin who has moved back home from North Carolina recently wrote on social network “Well, I knew I was home when the heat and humidity hit me like a wet blanket, and I was bitten by a yellow fly and saw a big moccasin make its way from the little pond close to my home and crawl across the yard. Instead of dwelling on that, though, I went inside, took my delicious ripe watermelon from the refrigerator, ate a bowl of boiled peanuts, sipped my sweet tea made with some of the most wonderful well water in our area and smiled.”
Now, let’s hem this hog in the ditch, during the summer months, we often think of family gatherings replete with barbeque, corn-on-the-cob, vine-ripened tomatoes, peach cobbler, homemade ice cream, but often times, the major part of what makes these family events such an event: and you have it: WATER.
Our area is blessed with so many wonderful rivers, springs, lakes and many times we take these for granted. So many family stories begin “Remember when we were swimming in the river.” “Remember that rope swing that was out over Blue Sink?” “Remember when we would dive from the top floor of the springhouse in White Springs?” “Remember how cool the water in the Suwannee River felt when we finished cropping tobacco, and we would go and ‘bust’ that river wide open?” Remember.
So much of what we remember about our area is now housed in that box marked “memories.” Many times there are no photographs, save those in our mind. Many of the places we spent our childhoods are no longer viable places to enjoy recreation. I won’t dwell on those losses, and they are more considerable than we can imagine. I will go back to that pitcher pump and an old quote: “We don’t miss the water until the well runs dry.” A lot of truth to that. During my childhood, I thought the springs in White Springs, Blue Sink, Suwannee Springs, would go on forever, as they were going in my childhood, but they haven’t. Over the summer, many people will “take to” area rivers, lakes, and springs for fun and recreation. I pray everyone has a good time and, like that refreshing water that quenched by thirst long, receives enjoyment and joy. I hope, too, everyone realizes the day they are experiencing is a blessed one with a cup “running over.” I also hope they realize that nothing lasts forever, and in the words of the novelist Thomas Wolfe “You can’t go home again,” and there is a deeper meaning to that quote. Of course, you CAN go home again, but it won’t be the same, and neither will you. Rather than mourn what “was,” we should all make an effort to “celebrate” “what is,” and we have a lot of reason to celebrate “what is” in our home here “Around the Banks of the Suwannee.” Eat a slice of chilled watermelon; enjoy some boiled peanuts; bite into that grilled hot dog and cover it with some good homemade cole slaw. Celebrate the joy of life, living, and love. The pitcher pump is still there, the gourd dipper is gone, and my Daddy and Uncle Warren have “gone on” too. The memories remain. My cup has overflowed. I’ll bet yours has too.
My Cup Has Overflowed
I've never made a fortune, and it's probably too late now. But I don't worry about that much, I'm happy anyhow And as I go along life's way, I'm reaping better than I sowed. I'm drinking from my saucer, Cause my cup has overflowed. Haven't got a lot of riches, and sometimes the going's tough But I've got loving ones all around me, and that makes me rich enough. I thank God for his blessings, and the mercies He's bestowed. I'm drinking from my saucer, Cause my cup has overflowed. I remember times when things went wrong, My faith wore somewhat thin. But all at once the dark clouds broke, and the sun peeped through again. So Lord, help me not to gripe, about the tough rows I have hoed. I'm drinking from my saucer, Cause my cup has overflowed. If God gives me strength and courage, When the way grows steep and rough. I'll not ask for other blessings, I'm already blessed enough. And may I never be too busy, to help others bear their loads. Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer, Cause my cup has overflowed.
Author: John Paul Moore
From the Eight Mile Still on the Woodpecker Route north of White Springs, wishing you a day filled with joy, peace, and, above all, lots of love and laughter.