A mountain spring has a charm for all as it bubbles up from its pebbly basin in the rocks, clear, cool, enticing. Who is not tempted to taste, and taste again? What question arises in the mind as to its purity? It comes from above, where the clouds have dropped their burden of rain and snow on the mountain crest. Thence the water finds its way through crevices in the rocks, and seeps down, down to the channel, and appears as a spring. It is pure, it cannot be otherwise.

Let us follow it in its course down the mountain. It starts, a tiny rivulet, soon to be joined by others, limpid like itself. With these it becomes a brook, gains strength to grind its rocky bed, carries sand and stones to lower levels, dissolving soluble matter which it holds, perhaps unseen. Here it forms a tiny cascade, there a pool; again it pauses in a dark, deep tarn which mirrors the clouds and the stars, still clear, cool, beautiful. Thence it passes over a clay bottom, which it rubs and tears and carries downward bit by bit. No more it tempts the thirsty; it has become sullied. In turn it serves a miller's, a manufacturer's, a city's uses. Gathering impurities, it continues its course to the sea, there to lay its burden down.

Some Experiences
July 15, 1905

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