Sunday, November 16, 2008

Whitewall Brook, at Zealand Falls, August 2008

Water is astounding! It’s lovely and magical (in most contexts) and it’s essential to life. It’s a simple compound of hydrogen and oxygen, gases for all of that, combined to make this liquid that magically gives life to this planet. It joins every living thing to every other living thing, and, in turn, connects them to this earth. We can’t live without it nor can any plant or animal. Our bodies contain ridiculous amounts of water. What is it?…65 or 70 percent of our body mass, a lot, anyway. So our bodies need water but so do our souls, our hearts, our minds. Water replenishes us and it inspires us. When I look at this picture of Whitewall Brook tumbling down the granite ledges by Zealand Falls Hut, swirling through smooth, polished, bathtub-sized pot holes, leaping down the falls I remember how I used to play in water for hours as a child, mesmerized, totally engrossed in a timeless world. As kids in North Conway we used to play by the Saco on summer days. My chums and I would go in mid-morning with one of our mums. We’d swim and jump from rope swings but later we would hunker down and build these wonderfully elaborate ‘villages’ with slender twigs of oak and white pine. We’d build bridges and elevated roads and houses and the river would flow under them and around us all day. The sun would swing across the sky. Then a parent would yell that it was time to go and I would whine bitterly (one of my great talents) and say “We just got here!” only to be told that hours and hours had passed.

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