Tapestry Singers, the Austin Women’s Chorus, will appear for our Spring Concert this beautiful Sunday afternoon at 4PM.  One of our songs, “A Pebble in the Water,” reminds us how words and deeds impact others just as surely as a stone dropped into a pond.  James W. Foley wrote the lines, set to music by Victor C. Johnson.

The first verse reminds us of ripples that spread across a pond after a single pebble lands in the water. Isn’t it a pretty sight? We can see circles of ripples that radiate along the surface all the way to the edge. As the pebble drops, unseen ripples push through deeper water until–ever so slightly–the stone alters the earth below.


Second and third verses turn our attention to words we say. An unkind word may soon be forgotten by the speaker even when it is hurtful to someone else. James Foley, who died in 1939, couldn’t know about social media and the unkind words that ripple, roil, and take on lives of their own. They can quickly bring out the most distasteful of human interactions.

By contrast, one kind word may produce ripples of comfort, generosity, or even inspiration. A kind deed such as letting a car merge in front of us has the effect of influencing others to show that same courtesy.

Simple kindness is a bit of heaven on earth. Let’s keep it circling on and on!


  1. Susan · May 15, 2016

    Thank you for this reminder to stay aware of my spoken and written words.

    • Kathleen · May 15, 2016

      You’re quite welcome. I need to be reminded, too!

  2. Carolyn · May 15, 2016

    Hi Kathleen,

    This is an excellent post, and one I very much enjoyed! Such a good message. I forwarded it to Sue Steinhardt and Susan Borches, as I know they too will enjoy it.

    We still miss you!


    (Carolyn Miracle Ross)


  3. kvonalt · May 15, 2016

    Beautiful words Kathleen ~ you certainly send out positive, loving ripples.

    • Kathleen · May 15, 2016

      Thanks, Kate…you certainly do, too.

  4. clayandmaggie · May 16, 2016

    That’s good to remember: maybe all we have is a pebble, but we do have that one – and many ripples build to a wave.

    • Kathleen · May 16, 2016

      And yours now flow from across the Atlantic all the way home. We influence people even if we don’t know them. Enjoy your explorations!

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