Changing All the Time


Upper Lacks Creek, Humboldt County, CA.

Watching the creek flow, babbling, tumbling, murmuring, singing, over ancient rocks, two seemingly contradictory thoughts come to mind. Awed by the ceaseless flow, I think this will never end. I mean how could this much water, this much flow ever cease? At the same time, I cannot fathom how this much water could just keep coming and coming, ever anon. Where does it all come from and where does it all go?  How can subatomic particles and atoms come together to form this thing we call a molecule of water which then joins millions of others to form this profound and forceful form that we call a creek, a stream, a river? Simply amazing. It seems extraordinary that atoms unify to create the feeling, texture, sound and space that is this creek right here in front of me.

Extraordinary and ordinary at the same time. In seeming contradiction lies truth, if there is such a thing. Unless you live in a dry place, water is so utterly abundant and ordinary as to be taken for granted. And yet our very existence depends on it. But it is even more than that; we are water. This very water in front of me makes up to 60% of what and who I am. It serves so many important roles in my physical functioning. Water builds (in cells), metabolizes and transports (proteins and carbohydrates), regulates (temperature), cleanses (flushes waste), cushions (brain, spine, fetus), absorbs, and lubricates. And it also calms, inspires, challenges, and sooths. I consider getting down on my hands and knees (an appropriate response I would say) and lapping up the creek water. I would then sit down and wait for the urge to urinate to arise thus allowing the water flowing off this mountain and carving this creek to flow into my body and out again. Where it will continue to carve, create and erode, nourish, supply and sustain. It will move things, in things, through things and as things. It might then evaporate and precipitate in a ceaseless cycle of change. “All is flux”, Heraclitus said and water exemplifies this in a manner mundane and beautiful, destructive and creative. And it’s in these seeming contradictions that lay the truth of water, if there is such a thing as truth. We are water and water is us, and both are changing all the time.


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