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“Water can flow and it can crash.” - Bruce Lee
It is the liquid of life. One of the purest and most powerful forces ever created. When it wants to be, it can be a harbinger of danger and destruction.
But at its essence, the phenomenon of water is one of balance. And here is why everyone should emulate this powerful element.
From engaging in osmosis within your body, to flowing through lakes, streams, rivers, and eventually to the ocean, water is constantly moving – and it does so with definite purpose. It knows where its headed, and it lets nothing be an obstacle.
It’s fluid and malleable, which allows it to seep through the smallest cracks and gently flow over tiniest pebbles. It’s unified and persistent in its greater force, which allows it to wear down even the greatest mountains and create canyons and crevasses.
It’s completely balanced in this determined movement. Sometimes, you’ll see it softly passing you by in continuous consistency. Other times, you’ll hear it raging by with the roar heard in a veld as it surges through any surface in its path. And every so often, you’ll see it bring its greatest brute force. Force in the form of heavenly walls that rival that of Troy and could level any city without a moment’s notice. Force in the form of torrential storms that could transform any street to a dense wetland.
However it chooses to get there, water will get there, any time, every time – without fail.
If you put water in a frigid environment, it will freeze and become ice – completely blending in to its frosted surroundings. If you tell it to become air, it will turn into vapor and suspend itself above the earth in the form of majestic clouds.
If you put water in a cylinder, it will become a cylinder. If you put water in a sphere, it will become a sphere. Water is the ultimate chameleon. It will mold and transfigure itself into the very environment that it finds itself in. It is always evolving, and it is always unchanging.
We have made vast discoveries about the human body, about the trees and plants that traverse our lands, and even about the space that surrounds our Earth, solar system, and galaxy. And yet, we understand so little about our cosmic oceans.
We only have a literal surface understanding of the oddities that reside in the depths of the Earth’s waters. We are constantly discovering further species and sub-species, with no visible end in sight.
Water is the perfect representation of the difficulty and worthiness of knowing the self. It’s contained in environments where we see it constantly, yet there is infinite depth to explore. There are constantly changing landscapes and moods within which it is contained. It is always slowly revealing itself in its deft and sometimes dangerous forms.
In small units, water appears clear. In larger quantities, it reveals itself in the most pristine shades of blue. When it takes the form of snow flakes, it’s wondrous lattice structures are unique and singularly breathtaking – never being duplicated.
Its ice can be crafted into masterful sculptures. Its likeness has been etched into the ages in the form of paintings by masters like Hokusai. Its peace has been shared in calm moments of tranquil contemplation by thinkers, writers and creators throughout the ages. The rosy tips of sunlight reflecting off of the ocean’s ceiling has mesmerized members of the human race since our inception.
We’ve listened to it drip outside of our dwellings and have smelled its sweet odor slowly sift through the air.
Place a drop of water on a flat surface, and it will remain there – still – until disturbed by another force or escaping into evaporation as it continues its ever-flowing cycle.
It is one of the only chemical substances that is naturally neutral. It can combine with nearly any other substance and make itself a vessel for new physical unions.
In moderation, it is cure. It excess, it is poison. No matter how many times you strike it, it cannot be injured, cannot be wounded. It holds its own identity, its own form, and simultaneously contains your image and the image of all worldly objects that dare to hold its gaze. It retains a soft hardness and a hard softness amid all of the magnanimous wonders that reside in its presence.
Water is timeless; it is the most generous of all elemental forces. It gives indirect and direct life to all things. It gives life to the world. It gives life to you.
Water is determination. Water is fluidity. Water is depth. Water is aesthesia. Water is peace. Water is divinity. Water is complete.
Make yourself like water, and you too will be complete.
Brenton Weyi is a philosopher, writer and social entrepreneur His company, Groupe Weyi, works with villagers in Central Africa to create lasting change through fair trade of resources. Find more of his writing on Orastories, and follow him on twitter @bweyi