While I stated in my last post that I find the element of fire a complex one which I am both drawn to and repelled by, water is far more approachable as a symbol. Water is refreshing, life-giving, sustaining, purifying, enlivening and thirst-quenching. What’s not to like?
As I’ve been thinking about writing this post, I’ve reflected on water in all its many manifestations. I’ve thought of beautiful flowing rivers and streams, vast oceans and still lakes. I’ve thought of gentle rain, wild storms and precious tears. I’ve thought of cracked ice, deep snow and steamy geysers. There are so many beautiful, powerful and exciting associations with water which offer the hope of refreshment and renewal.
And yet just now none of these symbols seem to be touching me. Despite there being nothing wrong that I can put my finger on, I am in a dry, barren patch where I am unsure what it is that I thirst for or how to open myself to receive what I need. I am reminded of the famous line from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner:
Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.
Things aren’t terrible; I have a sense of this just being a short season to live through. Perhaps the earth needs to dry out a bit before the rain can be received, or perhaps it’s right to sit on the edge of the riverbank for a while before jumping in and experiencing the flow.
I hope for the ability to sit still and be fully present in this dry moment.
Looking at this collage now I become aware of a womb-like shape contained within it. Three little shell beads are cocooned inside in the darkness. Perhaps this is symbolic of something small and precious which needs to sit still in the dark for a while before it is strong enough to enter the lively stream of rushing water.
Here are just a few ideas if you want to reflect some more on the element of water:
- Is there any way you can get to be by (or in!) the water? Take a trip to the sea or go and sit by a running stream for an hour or so. Allow the sound of the water to reach and soothe you. If you’re not going to have a swim, at least have a little paddle or touch the water with your hands.
- Go for a walk in the rain. I did this yesterday and it was so lovely hearing the sound of the raindrops bouncing off my umbrella!
- Slowly drink a glass of really cold water when you are feeling thirsty.
- If you’re usually a shower person, take a long, slow, warm bath. If you’re usually a bath person, take a cool, invigorating shower…
- Soak your feet in a bowl of warm water, then give yourself a pedicure. Even better, find someone else who’ll do that for you while you work on receiving it as a gift.
- Reflect on the phrase ‘living water’. What does that mean for you?
- Create an art work on the theme of ‘oasis’.
- Next time it rains, take a photo of the reflections you can see in the puddles.
- Think about water in its many guises. Do you feel more like a lake, a stagnant pool or an ocean? More like a river, a rain drop or a glacier? Find the one that rings most true for you and then write about it for 10 minutes without stopping. Read through what you have written and reflect on what it has taught you about yourself.
Just off for a nice warm bath. Thank you very much for reading…