Meditations on water: themes from Revelation 22

Awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters. — C. S. Lewis

Turning on the Water
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Water comes from high mountain sources.
Water runs deep in the Earth.
Miraculously, water comes to us and sustains all life.
My gratitude is filled to the brim.

Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does. ― Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

Thirsting for Water

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water. — W.H. Auden

Water is important to people who do not have it, and the same is true of control. ― Joan Didion

It is not merely our own desire but the desire of Christ in His Spirit that drives us to grow in love. Those who seldom or never feel in their hearts the desire for the love of God and other men, and who do not thirst for the pure waters of desire which are poured out in us by the strong, living God, are usually those who have drunk from other rivers or have dug for themselves broken cisterns. ― Thomas Merton

Water may be extremely dirty, yet its nature remains clear. ― Dalai Lama XIV, How to Expand Love: Widening the Circle of Loving Relationships

Not only the thirsty seek the water, the water as well seeks the thirsty. ― Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi

Gerald May, a dear and now deceased friend of mine, said in his very wise book Addiction and Grace that addiction uses up our spiritual desire. It drains away our deepest and true desire, that inner flow and life force which makes us “long and pant for running streams” (Psalm 42). Spiritual desire is the drive that God put in us from the beginning, for total satisfaction, for home, for heaven, for divine union, and it just got displaced onto the wrong object. It has been a frequent experience of mine to find that many people in recovery often have a unique and very acute spiritual sense; more than most people, I would say. It just got frustrated early and aimed in a wrong direction. Wild need and desire took off before boundaries, strong identity, impulse control, and deep God experience were in place. ― Richard Rohr, Breathing Underwater

Immersing in Water

Breathing in, I see myself as still water. Breathing out, I reflect things as they are. — Thich Nhat Hanh

In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans; in one aspect of You are found all the aspects of existence. ― Kahlil Gibran Jr.

The roots of all living things are tied together. Deep in the ground of being, they tangle and embrace. This understanding is expressed in the term nonduality. If we look deeply, we find that we do not have a separate self-identity, a self that does not include sun and wind, earth and water, creatures and plants, and one another. — Joan Halifax

If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. — C. S. Lewis Sometimes grace works like water wings when you feel you are sinking. ― Anne Lamott

The water and words from our baptism plus the earth and words from our funerals have come from the past and future to meet us in the present. And in that meeting we are reminded of the promises of  God: That we are God’s, that there is no sin, no darkness, and yes, no grave that God will not come to find us in and love us back to life. ― Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People

Sometimes in order to help He makes us cry, Happy the eye that sheds tears for His sake, Fortunate the heart that burns for His sake, Laughter always follow tears, Blessed are those who understand, Life blossoms wherever water flows, Where tears are shed divine mercy is shown. — Rumi

More About Water

Water Justice

Water is the most critical resouedce on earth because it is biologically necessary and non-substitutable.We need water to hydrate and survive as none of us can live without water. While 70% of earth is covered inwater, only 2.5% of the earth’s water is freshwater. That small amount of freshwater us used for a variety of needs: mostly agricultural, then industry, and lastly municipal and domestic use. There are thus numerous competing demands over available water, a resource that is jeenly contest and fought over … Clean, safe water is vitally important as it can affect everyone’s ability to live a full and healthy life, engage in social progress, and have ecological sustainability. Indeed, one of the Sustainable Deevelopment Goals for global development is dedicated to water, setting the ambitious goal of universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water by the year 2030.Farhana Sultana, Water justice: why it matters and how to achieve it


Carry Billy Collins

I want to carry you
and for you to carry me
the way voices are said to carry over water.

Just this morning on the shore,
I could hear two people talking quietly
in a rowboat on the far side of the lake.

They were talking about fishing,
then one changed the subject,
and, I swear, they began talking about you.


I thought the earth remembered me, she took me back so tenderly, arranging her dark skirts, her pockets full of lichens and seeds. I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed, nothing between me and the white fire of the stars but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths among the branches of the perfect trees. All night I heard the small kingdoms breathing around me, the insects, and the birds who do their work in the darkness. All night I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling with a luminous doom. By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times into something better. — Mary Oliver Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters. ― Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through it and Other Stories

“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future. ― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha