Water Meditation
by John Caddy

Water. Magic stuff. Liquid, ice, gas. Cloud, fog, mist, snow, sleet, drip, drop, stream, river, lake, sea, ocean, tide.

I am over 60% water. So are you. I have rivers of blood inside me; half of them are running downstream and half are actually flowing uphill.

All the water on Earth circles around the planet just like my blood. All the water inside my skin has been cycling for billions of years. Every drop of liquid me has flowed in that enormous time through every continent, been part of every watershed. Think of it! I have been part of the Mississippi! I've traveled down the Amazon! And when I became part of Ocean again, the moon taught me how to flow uphill. 

The moon's gravitation pulls a huge "hill" of ocean water up toward itself, and the "hill" travels all around Earth every month, causing the tides on all the land of Earth.

Imagine one molecule of water off the coast of say, Hawaii. One sunny day it vaporizes and evaporates up into the air. It rises and becomes part of a cloud. A few days later, it rains down in Mexico. It is absorbed by the ground. Then a plant root sucks our molecule into itself and the plant makes the molecule part of its flower petals. After a time, the petals wilt and dry, and the molecule vaporizes again and lifts into the sky. Imagine the journey continuing. That molecule of H2O might sink deep underground and become ground-water, or it might get pumped up into a faucet to become part of your own blood sometime, or it might get locked up inside a stone or locked up in a glacier for a few thousand years. It might even be in a tear on your pillow.

That tear is salty. All the rivers flowing inside us are salty. Babies float in a water sack called the amnion before they're born, and that's salty too. When animals lifted themselves from ocean to land, they had to learn to package the salty ocean and take it with them. So we can think of ourselves as small ambulatory oceans, or small packages of salt water that left the sea a while ago.

But the land we found is dry, and in our long struggle to live away from the sea, we keep trying to make the land wet. We weep on it our tears, we spill on it our blood, but the land stays dry.

Here's a little poem that tries to say it gracefully:

THE SALT CRIES REMEMBER

The fetus yawns in the sea, adrift in the cell memories.
We are the sea in a skin, the craving of salt for the ocean.
We batter the wet from our flesh, but the land we hunched onto is dry.
What is salt is the sweet bitter gift of the tidepool.
The tonguetip, helpless, remembers. The sea knows itself in our juices.
We answer rain with our tears, answer love with our drifting, our cries.

Center for Global Environmental Education
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