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Senior Correspondent

I’ve always thought water was wonderful, but my granddaughter wrote an essay about water that gave me yet another perspective. Water shows us how to live life — if we are clever enough. Water embraces contradictions. Think of a lovely babbling brook as it gurgles its way along. It gently flows, sometimes gathering speed and racing along on its long voyage out to the sea. Except for the heavy hand of humans that intentionally or unintentionally causes it to dry up completely, it is water’s nature to just keep going on — whether above or under the ground — determined to reach its destination. It is patient and makes whatever adjustments are necessary to get where it wants to go. 

Water is not only persistent, but also very creative. Just look at the Grand Canyon for proof of the artistic power of water. Water can also change its state from eons-old ice to steam rising from hot springs. It is soothing to thirst, but maniacally destructive of everything in its way when in the form of a tsunami or a flood. Whatever you can say about water is also true in the opposite.

Why are we attracted to watching salty waves crashing upon rocks or sandy beaches? We return time and again to be in their majestic presence. Water’s gymnastic antics entertain us for endless hours without us even getting wet. Many CDs for meditation include the sounds of water that either soothe the soul or lull us to sleep. Fancy hotels almost always have a fountain out front to greet guests. The highest level of water entertainment in front of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas thrills spectators with how graceful and rhythmic the dancing spurts of water can be.

While laying by a creek near my home and listening to its music, I thought of all the things water can be, and then I remembered that our human bodies are mostly water and that we are a part of nature. As my ears listened, my imagination wondered what the burbling creek could be saying. And then I wanted to join the water. I wanted to have the grace and gentleness of water, the persistence and determination of water, the strength of ice, the freedom of steams, the rhythm of a dancing fountain, and the power of waves in the sea. I wanted to feel the fish tickling me and be able to flow in and around beautiful coral reefs. I wanted to dance with mammoth whales and play with sea lions.

I mentally slipped into the creek and joined the water. My human form was no longer imprisoned by arms, legs, a head. Instead, I undulated over and around rocks — and traveled onward.

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