I re-connected with a fellow TLC (Transformational Leadership Council) member recently and we had an intriguing conversation about why we're drawn to water. Rick lives on a houseboat in Sausalito, CA. He told me he “loves the flexibility of living on the water, because it’s fluid, always moving, forever changing.”
Agreed. I love water for a lot of reasons.
It’s not just that water feels like “home.” (After all, we are, all of us, bodies of water.)
It’s not just that water is beautiful, calming and inspiring … all at the same time.
It’s not just that water is a muse. (Much like some people drop into a hypnotic state gazing at fire, I lose myself in a writer’s reverie while gazing at and working by water.)
It’s not just that it’s the perfect forum for freedom of movement. (We can swim in water. Float on it. Sail, boat; paddle board, raft and surf on it. Dive in it. Walk and run around it. Splash, play and revel in it.)
For me, it’s the dynamism of water that makes my soul sing. The multi-faceted nature of it. The many yin-yang forms of it. The metaphorical epiphanies facilitated and fostered by it.
Just think of all the thought-provoking quotes associated with water.
1. “I feel most at home in the water. I disappear. That's where I belong.” – Michael Phelps (Me too. I feel at home by, in, on and around water. Although I don’t disappear. I come alive.)
2. “To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” – Alan Watts (Yes, I trust and am relaxing into this experience. When people ask how my Year by the Water is going, I tell them, “Swimmingly.”)
3. “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” – Isak Dineson (It rarely happens, but if something goes wrong, all I have to do it get in water and it washes away the worries.)
4. “Being on a boat that's moving through the water, it's so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what's important and what's not.” – James Taylor (Agreed. Water produces clarity and instant perspective.)
5. “The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.” - George Eliot (One of the reasons I set out on my Year by the Water adventure is because I wanted to experience the angels and imprint the golden moments now, not some day in the far off future … or never.)
6. “Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river.” – Jorge Louis Borges (Water and time are indeed Rorschach tests. How we view
them often reveals how we view ourselves.)
6. “Luck affects everything. Let your hook always be cast; in the stream where you least expect it there will be a fish.” – Ovid (I am reveling in open days. They are lucky hooks that catch unexpected streams of blessings.)
7. “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” – Isaac Newton (People ask where I’m going to return to when my year’s up. I’m not going to return to anything. I’m not going back to who I was or where I lived. There’s an ocean of truths I’ve yet to explore. Onward. )
As I travel around the country and visits oceans, bays, waterways, streams, rivers and waterfalls … I am thrilled with their capacity to fill me with wonder, appreciation and awe.
Water has become a non-negotiable for me. I’ve lived around and by the water for the past 29 years (Hawaii for 17 years and then on Lake Audubon and Lake Thoreau in Virginia for 12 years)
When it’s time to find my next home (I’ve realized I don’t want to SETTLE DOWN. What a depressing phrase. Settle means compromise and down equals depressed), I want to be like the settlers.
The settlers headed west, exploring new country, scouting for a home that had just the right elements. Water. Good soil. Trees. Mountains. A way to do business or earn a living. When they found the right combination of elements, they didn’t settle down, they SETTLED IN.
At some point, I will be ready to SETTLE IN. Not yet.
When it’s time, like the settlers, my next home will be by water. For me, water is at the core of a right life
How about you?;
Do you love the water? Why?
What role does it play in your life?
How does it inspire you, center you, feed your soul, facilitate your creativity?
I look forward to hearing what water means to you and how you keep it in your life.