My Two Cents
February 1, 2019, 12:00 AM

“On Ainslie Pond”

Anyone who has visited Christian Temple over the past six months has seen a new geographical feature winding its way through our playground- the Christian Temple Pond. Or maybe we should call it the “Ainslie Pond”.

While the origins of this new Catonsville body of water are still mysterious it presence is very real. Once in that space there were parents slipping their toddlers into the chairs for their first swing set ride. Now there is a pond surrounding a twin A-frame work of modern art painted fire engine red.

The pond seems to be fed by water oozing out from the railroad ties at the top of the swing set bay. While the source is difficult to pinpoint the runoff is strong and steady, running through the cut we made in the sidewalk and cascading down the hill where it is once again absorbed into the ground. Some people pay a lot of money for such landscaping.

Possible sources of our new water hazard?

Some would say an abandoned water line that once serviced the Carriage House that sat half way up the hill is the culprit. Could be.

Others wonder if there once was a water fountain for thirsty boys and girls in the middle of the old equipment- a water fountain that had been capped until last year? Longtime Catonsvillians say no.

A few neighbors say they remember a drain pipe that poked out of the hillside just above where our pond has formed. The drainpipe could have been capped when they renovated the playground and dug out the swing set bay twenty years ago. This sounds interesting.

But just about everyone who sees the pond and ventures a guess as to its robust and very steady runoff down the hill will conclude their favorite theory by making reference to 2018 being the wettest year on record. Especially since the pond was born in July, the wettest month of 2018.

“We did get a ton of rain this year. Maybe all that rain still needs a place to go.”

So, while our brightest and best lean into solving this riddle we have a pond at our church. On the one hand it is a nuisance and a liability. On the  other maybe our natural baptismal pool can be seen as a metaphor for what lies at the heart of what we believe as Disciples of Christ: God’s grace is mysteriously given to the world and fills the low places of our lives until our cup runneth over.

If you haven’t seen the Ainslie pond yet, “Come, walk beside its still waters, and see how Moses wasn’t the only one who brought water from the rock. But you better hurry. Our pond won’t be around for long.

Shalom,

Rick