“Be like water making its way through cracks.
Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object,
and you shall find a way round or through it.
If nothing within you stays rigid,
outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water.
If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.
You put water into a bottle
and it becomes the bottle.
You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot.
Now, water can flow or it can crash.
Be water my friend.”
We have watched more rain fall in the last two days than I can ever recall. If ‘we’ includes every soul from Jamaica to Maryland, then we have perhaps witnessed the most rainfall in recorded history.
It’s ironic that the Daily Post chose “H2O” as the theme for their Weekly Photo Challenge on Friday, as Hurricane Matthew chewed up the Caribbean and the East Coast of the US.
Ocean swallowed land, breaking up buildings and piers like tinker toys. Waves crashed over sea walls and battered against homes and hotels. Historic, torrential rains have washed away hillsides and towns.
Here, the water flowed. We are blessed with a topography which can handle rain.
But all around us in Virginia and North Carolina, at the northern edge of this great storm, it rose. We watched streets become ponds and roads float away, carrying so much of people’s lives and livelihoods on the rising tide.
We watched this on TV and the internet, of course; here, we simply watched water run in sheets across the streets, fill the ditches and puddle on the patio.
We drove to Jamestown late yesterday afternoon, watching the river rise to the top of its banks and the creeks and marshes fill like bathtubs. Herons stood along the shallows, gazing with curiosity at the rising tide.
Yesterday, the world was wet and grey. The clouds hung low and spewed sheets of water from sea to land. And now the storms have moved away. The sun was out here by this afternoon.
And with sunlight comes every beautiful color of the day: blue sky, golden flowers, green leaves and shiny patches of lichen on the dark wet bark of trees.
Water teaches the lesson of change. As it changes forms itself, so it also changes everything it touches. Judging ‘good’ or ‘bad’ sometimes begs more questions than it settles. Even the lack of water, a summer drought, shows us this truth.
And so we learn to flow, like water; to adapt, to reflect, to adjust, and to persist. And above all, to hope to nourish and refresh with our very presence.
What can hurt can also heal; what can destroy is also the basic unit of every living thing.
Woodland Gnome 2016