Transient Gift Analemma Sundial

Girl explores
Girl explores

girl peers through the water-filled columns, which are the hours-markers for the sundial. Each column is spaced to represent one hour of solar time.

Water-filled columns mark the hours
Water-filled columns mark the hours
Morning shadow
Morning shadow
Word for "water" in 60 languages
Word for "water" in 60 languages
Poem by David Haley
Poem by David Haley
Poem by David Haley
Poem by David Haley
View toward west of meadow.
View toward west of meadow.

Water-columns, the central gnomen, and vessels of water placed on the pedestal at the edge of the meadow.

Girls mark the time
Girls mark the time

girls stand on the central "gnomen", and their shadow will mark the hours as the sun moves across the sky.

Water for the wildlife
Water for the wildlife

water for the deer, coyotes, and other wildlife was available in the bowls on the pedestal. This meadow is normally quite arid in the summer months, as it is at the highest point of the fort, a rocky hill.

In water we evolved
Of water we are made
From water we are born
With water we live
To water we return
By water we may know.


- David Haley,

from:   the future and other creation myths

Transient Gift Analemma Sundial.
Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, WA.
Acrylic tubing; glass vessels; water; concrete; poetry; text.
9 feet (h) (each marker) x 120 feet (w) x 120 feet (d)
Project partners: Fort Worden State Park; Goddard College

2010

Transient Gift is a meditative sanctuary, a quietly beautiful public installation which invites deep reflection on the transience of water and life.  All creatures on the earth share the same water: it flows past us across the soil, rises into the clouds over us, rains down upon us.  We share this same water with our ancestors and our great grand-children; no new water is ever created.​

A 1000 square-foot meadow overlooking the Salish Sea encompasses four altar-like pedestals surrounding a central analemma sundial.  Underneath the meadow lies a two million-gallon concrete cistern, the water storage built 100 years ago for this community.  Now empty, the cistern is a historic landmark in Fort Worden State Park, WA, USA, and fresh water is piped in from 26 miles away.​

The hours-markers of the sundial are clear acrylic tubing, filled with water.  The analemma form of the sundial allows a person to stand as the gnomon, and their shadow will point toward the hours-markers, thus giving the true solar time based on the earth’s relationship to the sun (different than the cesium time of modern society).

Three of the circumferential pedestals are dressed with twelve glass vessels filled with fresh water, and etched with the word for “water” as translated into 60 languages.  The fourth pedestal reveals poetry by British eco-poet David Haley, (etched onto a transparent sheet) about water.