I have been thinking a lot about water lately.
We just had some delicious rain spill out of the sky, here in drought land California. My kindergartner immediately accepted the sky’s invitation and ran out with head thrown back, mouth wide open, squealing with delight as the cool drops flowed over and through him. I followed him and listened to the pitter-patter of Mother Nature’s musical notes falling everywhere. I could almost hear the Earth and her plants and trees drinking in the cool wetness. And then as I stood there, I felt the Earth breathe a sigh of relief after wetting her whistle.
“Thank you rain!” my six year old bellowed up to the sky.
I remembered the science book my kindergartner and I recently finished reading. He thought it was pretty cool, that we are the tenants of the only planet in our solar system that carries life-sustaining waters. Yes, that is very cool!
I began to think of all the ways water is integral to life. The very beginnings of our amazing lives start in sacred uterine waters. These waters cradle and nourish us lovingly for months, gently encouraging our bodies to form and grow, until the time has come to enter into the world. Our human bodies themselves are made up of nearly 70% water, and water constantly nourishes our every major organ system, keeping us healthy and balanced. We need it to survive.
I realize I have taken water for granted many a time. Today, as the rain gods and goddesses gift us with waters, I make myself this promise:
I will be vigilant in remembering in all moments, great and small, the gift of Water.
I will consciously honor Water in my many interactions with it in my day, and express my gratitude.
N o t i c e
My first remembrances of Water are big impressions. Swimming at the public pool for hours, like happy dolphins—my best friend and I—jumping, diving, twirling, until we were water logged and voraciously hungry. I remember childhood trips to natural waters—Bear Lake, Lake Tahoe, the waterfalls of Yosemite, and then the mysterious hot water pools of Yellowstone. I thought the misty swirling pools must be what it looked like on the moon. That was before I knew that there is no water on the moon….
Weekend beach days filled our summers; we were like sticky sand crabs crawling in the hot bright sand, until the wild waves beckoned us in and we were washed fresh. In all those childhood excursions and vacations it was the Water, I realize, that called to us. Called us out of our routine lives, to mingle and play in her various forms. We would return from these adventures rejuvenated by her healing properties.
In my day-to-day life, Water is my faithful companion. She appears at my fingertips—hot, cold, just the right temperature—whenever I wish, washing clothes, the dishes, brushing tiny teeth, watering the garden, soaking in a warm bath at the end of the day. Water is the first thing that touches my lips and courses through my body as I stumble out of bed in the pale mornings. And She is the last comforting sip right before I cocoon into soft covers, settling me in to the land of dreams. In fact, I realize I carry Her religiously with me, everywhere I go. My aqua water bottle remains steadfastly at my side as I shut the door and make my way out into the world.
I m m e r s e
It feels good to acknowledge all the ways Water appears in my day. I decide that another way to honor Water is to consciously acknowledge her in the very moments I meet her—whether I am immersed in her natural rivers and oceans, or washing my hands, or taking some much needed glugs after a trail run. Especially after my last summer’s experience with her.
I met Water last summer, as the warm Ocean Pacific, along the coast of Kauai. It was my first adventure to the wonderous island—with friends and family making us a merry bunch. Beautiful lush landscapes in every shade of green, brought on by warm downpours wetting us through to the skin, the next moment giving away to glorious skies. After a good rain we would look towards the mountains and count the waterfalls that had magically appeared. Once we counted sixteen.
While the beauty of Waimea Canyon beckoned me and the lushness of the land caught my frequent gaze, my favorite pastime became simply immersing myself in the warm waters off the North Shore.
I found myself wandering down to the sea on mornings, walking into her clear aqua warmth, never wanting to leave. I would let incoming waves wash away my worries and cares. The buoyancy of the warm salty Pacific had me floating on my back—arms and legs limp like a rag dolls’. Sometimes I kept my eyes open to stare at the golden sky and other times I let them close, almost lulled to sleep by the constant ebb and flow of the warm waters.
Other times found me face down, snorkel gear in place, floating—totally surrendered to the ocean’s whim. I became aware of the peace that is available to me when I go with the flow of whatever meets me in my day. I became aware, of the natural ease of things, if we only allow it. I was aware that I could live my entire life in this way, if I chose.
Tropical fish of all shapes and sizes would eventually surround me, curiously looking at this strange surrendered being. I laughed and cried joyously as best as one can with a snorkel in one’s mouth, “They accept me! The fish accept me! I’m one of them!” Once, I found myself in some large waves being pulled out faster than I wanted. Releasing the panic, I did not resist. I went with the flow. As the water calmed, I easily found my way back to shore.
G r a t i t u d e
On our last tropical day, I whispered my thanks to the warm waters for imparting their deep and ancient wisdom on my soul. As I dipped beneath the surface, I watched the speckled light dance on the undulating ocean floor. I knew I could access this place of well-being and peace anytime. The ancient waters are, after all, part of my human make up.
Today, I decide I can be grateful in all the moments of my day that find me meeting up with Water. I will notice all the ways Water magically appears in my life. I will breathe gratitude as I wash my hands. I will offer my thanks as fresh water courses through my body, visualizing how it heals and restores my human form with every sip. I will give thanks for the rain and all the waters of the world in their natural wonder.
May we all notice, in every moment, the gifts of Water.
May we each find the joy of immersing ourselves in natural waters to awaken the memory from whence we came.
May we each give thanks for precious Water.