Water And Coal



Dear Blue,

Your mother and I celebrate our two year anniversary today. It hardly seems like yesterday when we were at The Sportsmen Lodge, saying our vows, sandwiched in between a Homecoming Dance and a filming session for Parks and Recreation. The following story is how I proposed to your mother. It’s a bit cheesy, but she said yes, so…you wouldn’t exist if this didn’t exist. Enjoy.


For water and coal, every day for them was a day chock full of fate. In their own special and unique ways, water and coal played their roles in the world. They had purpose. They had utility. They had importance. Then one day, water and coal met. And fate took a different turn.

“Hello,” water said as she danced around coal.

“Hey,” blurted coal.

“Do you know me?”

“I’ve heard you fall.”

“And I’ve seen you smoke.”

Coal was intrigued. This water didn’t look like the sounds he’d heard. Deep in the earth, he’d only heard her trickles and groans as she squeezed her way through the darkness. Here, in the daylight, water shimmered and sparkled. Free in ways he had never known.

For her own part, water was equally intrigued with coal. She had seen the factories and the deep, dark caverns full of blackness where he came from. But here, in the daylight, coal had something to him. A deepness inside the blackness that spoke of a solemnity water remembered from long ago.

“What’s so special about you?” water asked.

“Even though I come from darkness, I can create light,” coal said boastfully. He struck himself against a rock and burned into an ember.

Delighted, water laughed. “I can do that too!” and she carried herself into the clouds. The clouds crackled and then spit out a lightning bolt. A nearby tree burst into flames.

“From my light comes warmth,” coal said. He hopped into a pit, and a small fire began to glow.

Not to be outdone, water laid flat over the fire, and boiled into a cloud of steam. “I can be warm too!” she said.

“I can be powerful,” coal boasted, pointing to a nearby city.

“So can I,” water countered, pointing towards the dam along the river. “But I bet you can’t do this.”

Water rose into the clouds. The air grew cold and a chilly wind gusted. Coal scanned the skies, looking for water. All he saw were tiny flecks of shiny crystals. Each one sparkled like a jewel, more beautiful than the last.

“Water…where did you go?”

“I’m right here!” Water said from one of the falling snowflakes. Coal was entranced. He has never seen anything so beautiful. “What can you do?”

Coal sat there quietly, thinking, before it struck him. “Follow me,” he told water.

He squeezed into the darkness of the earth, in between the tiniest of seams. The heat and pressure building and building.

Water dutifully followed, slinking her way through the darkness.


“I’m right here. Don’t be afraid.”

There was a deep rumble. Unable to go anywhere, water rose out of the ground, high into the sky.

When she settled and stopped trembling, she called out, “Coal?”


“Coal? Where are you?”

“I’m right here.”

She looked down into the mud and saw something sparkling. It looked like nothing she had ever seen. Colors danced though it. Light seemed to shine from it and though it at the same time. She had never seen anything so beautiful.

“Coal? Is that you?”

“Yes,” coal said bashfully. “But please, call me diamond.”

Water smiled.

And the two danced together forever.



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