I’ve always been attracted to water. As a child I spent hours near irrigation ditches, watching the water give life to the crops that gave money and life to our family. In the San Joaquin Valley of California water was, and still is, a precious commodity not to be wasted or taken for granted. We collected it in canals and reservoirs and made it go where it was needed.
My dad also took us fishing and swimming in nearby rivers and lakes. But there, too, were the signs of man’s control. We fished near dams and bridges and spillways. We fished in areas that were designated and regulated. We usually swam in areas where it was allowed and there were others doing the same thing.
It wasn’t until we visited the “dust bowl” that I saw water as it was meant to be- wild and natural and meandering where it chose. I still remember my fascination with a little creek near my grandparent’s home. The water was only a few inches deep, but I loved the way it splashed over rocks and wound around through the woods. Even the ponds, which I knew had been created by men, had been allowed to return to nature. The banks were overgrown with grass and the water was filled with snakes and fish and turtles…and monsters for all I knew! I remember gazing into the murky waters and wondering how in the world my cousins could jump into that abyss for a swim.
The first time I saw Lake Texoma I thought it surely must be part of the ocean! My little brain could not figure out how men had made something so big or where the water had come from or why it stayed. I only understood that it was beautiful, but mostly for boats, not me. It was far too deep for me to even contemplate- a sure sign that a Loch Ness cousin was lurking somewhere!
Yesterday I watched in amazement as the waters of the pond outside my window came back to life after the recent freeze. During the cold days I was amused by the heron and the ducks walking on the frozen motionless areas of the pond, but I also observed it carefully to make sure there was still a little movement here and there at the edges so the cows were able to get a drink. Yesterday’s warm temperatures and wind gave the waters of the pond movement and color that was fascinating to behold. I couldn’t resist walking down to the water’s edge for a closer look!
As I stood there listening to the soothing sound of the water lapping against the shore I thought, “this is meditation, this is peace”. I had given thought before to every power and purpose of water except this one…to quiet and calm the soul.
I’ve read that there are over 600 references to water in the Bible. Perhaps we need that many references to understand and appreciate the power and significance of this gift. I certainly have a renewed gratitude for the body of water outside my window.
Let’s give thanks today for water…and try not to waste it.
P.S. Happy Valentine's Day