A River of Gratitude

And it goes on and on, watching the river run
Further and further from things that we’ve done
Leaving them one by one
And we have just begun, watching the river run
Listening and learning and yearning to run, river, run    

Logins and Messina

                          

What is it about water? I don’t know about you, but for me there’s something life-giving and powerful and spiritual about water. Watching the river run, listening to the rhythm of waves, the lyrical song of a garden fountain… water touches me. 

Maybe it’s because we’re made of water. Biologists say our bodies are up to 60% water.

Maybe it’s because we need water. Physiologists say we need around 2 liters a day.

Maybe it’s because we come from water. Evolutionary scientists say life began in water.

Maybe it’s because our souls get so thirsty as life demands so much from us. Hebrew and Christian scripture promise our parched tongues and hearts will find relief.

The cure for anything is salt water — sweat, tears, or the sea.                    Isak Dinesen

I grew up in a place with very little water, and understand how essential it is.

Now I live in a place plentiful with water — and understand even more how precious, critical, and fundamental it is. 

And now, on Thanksgiving morning, as my heart overflows with gratitude, as watery images and metaphors flood my thoughts, as I try to absorb the gift of life flowing by too quickly and with such stunning beauty, I wonder at the sheer extravagant grace of it all.

And give thanks. Most of all, for you. For each of you, all of you, every friend and reader, every fellow sojourner on this remarkable river of life, I give thanks.

Grateful love, all.

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  1. Hopefully, you know at least a little bit of the tsunami of blessing, grace, and love you brought into my life. (Half-way through the previous sentence, I remembered that it was you who baptized me—and in an actual body of water, to boot.)

    I don’t think I’ve contemplated the role water plays in our lives, both literal and metaphoric. As with a mirror reflected into another mirror, the longer I look, the deeper it continues. Here’s just a handful from Scripture.

    The first miracle Jesus performed was turning water into wine. Later, he walked upon the water, called Peter out of their boat to join him. Earlier in Scripture, Moses parts the Red Sea, strikes a rock which causes water to flow from it. Earlier, still, the Flood. And, finally, “In the Beginning,” God creates a dome to separate the waters above from the waters below.

    Where I live is a high-mountain desert—we receive an average of ten inches of precipitation a year—yet just three blocks from my front door flows the sixth longest river in the US. (45th longest in the world.) Out here, water rights are a big thing. (“Whiskey’s for drinking; water’s for fighting.” “Water runs uphill, toward the money.”)

    Roughly seventy-one percent of our planet is water; yet we call our planet, Earth.
    Too, there are the once-removed references to water, such as sailors/sailing. (“[Jesus] said, ‘All men shall be sailors then, until the sea shall free them.'” -from Suzanne, by Leonard Cohen)

    From Odysseus to Trouble the Water. Water has seeped through our lives.

    • Beautiful reflections, my friend. I think of your baptism each fall – that chill water so bracing, that moment so sacred. And your beautiful heart, smiling. What gifts we’ve been given!
      And the Cohen quote – Suzanne is one of my favorites!. You have made my day, amigo.

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