The Liquid Spirit of Water

THE LIFE FORCE that moves through us, and through every drop of water and layer of slick rock, is as familiar as our own breath, yet as hard to grasp as the wind that rustles the cottonwoods.  We are told that the elements of science are kin to the elements of human nature: that those with Fire in their souls possess a radiant energy, an enthusiasm that brings color and vibrancy into the world; that those with Earth in their souls are well grounded and have enduring and nurturing qualities; that the currents of thought and spirit flow most freely through those with Airy dispositions. 
YET MODERN SCIENTISTS of ancient astrology believe that our deepest emotions – our most fervent passions – are expressed best by those with the liquid spirit of Water, the formless potential out of which all creation flows. 
Waterfalls overwhelm us with the power of their sensual – and yes – female natures
SPRING AFTER SPRING, they seem to hurl themselves over the edges of their own fast-flowing desires.  They rush wantonly toward the prairies, carving canyons into stone, reminding us of our own restless natures.  We feel their power especially during the melt of winter snow, when they rush full-boar over cliffs, tumbling over boulders made slick by their urgent passage. 
IN SUMMER, they dress themselves in sheer liquid gowns, revealing silver hearts, mossy tendrils grown long in the clear pools gathered at their feet.  Wildlife drink from their ponds, nest in the boughs of the trees that flank their beds.  Yet, come fall, they seem to pause, waiting for the coming winter in the clefts where the cliffs meet, teasing him with their lazy autumn meanders and slow seeping springs.  If we’re lucky, fall lasts long past the dying back of dogwood, long past the gold guilding of verdant fern. 
SOMETIMES WINTER COMES SOFTLY to the waterfalls, like a shy suitor – his knocking can be heard in the creak of willow branch, or in the cry of kestrel leaving, or seen in the gentle dusting of snow on fur tree.  The waterfalls seemed wrapped in winter’s icy blue arms, as if spreading their feathery water wings, dreaming of flight.  Hungry deer come to feed on the lichen that clings to nearby stone and bark.  Chickadees find shelter in the branches of the pines that grow on the stone slopes beside their chilled waters.  Crystallized droplets hang suspended like diamonds. 
SOMETIMES, IN THE DARK OF A BLUE MOON, winter’s coming is not so subtle.  He storms over mountain and prairie, staying long past the kestrel’s leaving.  He kisses the wetness from the waterfalls with frosted whiskers, slowing their passage over rock and stone, turning their bodies into sheaths of ice.  His snows bring their deeper natures to the surface, the bitter-cold bite of his breath forcing them to look inward at their own ever-changing ways. 
WATERFALLS IN WINTER have the power to slow the passage of our own busy and hectic lives.  Now is when we can reach out and touch their mysterious natures, feel life manifested within their frozen spirits.  We breathe deeply, let winter fill our lungs, feel awed by the raw power held in timeless abeyance, like pure energy sculpted in marbled ice. 
IF WE WAIT FOR THE TURNING OF THE EARTH, the heat of the sun, wait until the air in our lungs no longer chills our bones, we can once again hear our own familiar breathing.  We can watch the sheaths of ice melt, watch rivers come to life as streams and creeks fill with mountain flow.  Life will once again rush past us in a watery frenzy.  And once again, we’ll find ourselves longing to reach out and grasp the illusive beauty.
Note:  Red Room's topic of the week is Fire, Air, Earth or Water.


F.C. Boyd said…
Your post really touched me today. I am a true nature lover and can see no other way to write than to experience nature. Since we shared it in pics today, I feel a part of your world.
Page Lambert said…
Thank you, F.C. It is always such a blessing to know when our words, and photos, touch another person. Writing and experiencing nature go hand-in-hand, yes? Both are part of the constant and chaotic act of creation.
Leslie Westbrook said…
I just shared this with a friend in hong kong who is in a "black" rainstorm warning!! im definitely swimming today.....
Anita Legsdin said…
As an astrologer, I find this interesting. True, water drives the intuition and feeling nature, but writing comes out of a strong third house (communication) And without strong air in the chart, the person will have a hard time with words. Thanks for your insights!
Page Lambert said…
Thank you for YOUR insights, Anita! You mention a strong third house (communication). For those of us not versed in astrology, how is the third house of communication related to fire, water, air, or earth? This is all fascinating.
Darlene Mueller Morse said…
Dear Page,

I am sitting here at my computer with my coffee at the ready and am slowly gearing up for a day of transcribing newspaper articles from one hundred years ago in Nevada. But first, I read your post.

Wow. I think what made it even more alive for me was that I could hear your actual (spoken) voice while reading this. I feel so fortunate that I have heard you read your own words in the past and that has stuck with me.

Your piece brought back a time for me in the winter of 1980. I had just been laid off my job in marketing at Teledyne Water Pik (I was actually very relieved) and I was then able to join my three women friends in Yellowstone. We went by snow cat into the park and stayed in a cabin near Old Faithful.

Even though that was 30 years ago, I can right now picture the frozen waterfalls and the places where the hot springs keep some things very green while just a few feet away, there is hoar frost on the tree branches from the steam that got away. I can feel the sudden intake of cold air into my lungs that is always so surprising but not unwelcome.

I think winter makes us much more aware of all our senses because it is so permeating. In summer, we are lulled almost to sleep by the intoxicating aromas slowly wafting and the heat that slows us in our tracks.

Gail Storey said…
Page, what an illuminating perspective on the elements, exquisitely expressed. The comments are fascinating too!
Thanks, Gail - yes, I'm enjoying the comments and hope to hear from a few more astrologers. All the best!
I just recently was introduced to the concept of fire, air, earth and water in a drumming ceremony where each of us asked for special help from the element we needed. I asked for the help of water, because I needed to be grounded and cooled down. During our meditation, we each lit a candle which was placed in the center of our circle. My candle suddenly burst into excessive flame, melting and burning things around it to such an extent that a glass of water had to be poured on the area! The group agreed, that fire was very intense in me, and that calling for the help of water was what I needed. I love your writing, particularly about the different phases of water and the relation it can have to our selves. Robin
Lindy said…
Beautiful! Deeply moving. Writing to be read again, to be savored and enjoyed.

Lindy (Pisces:)
Page Lambert said…
Thank you, Robin. Your story about the candle bursting into excessive flame is wild. I seem to have so much moon and water in my chart that I need fire for balance. I always seem to be seeking heat. All this is so fascinating, especially when we think about it in regards to our creative selves. Thank you for sharing your story.
Page Lambert said…
Pisces Lindy, thank you! I'm Cancer Cancer Cancer!
Priscilla said…
Gorgeous water pictures, Page! They take me straight to the sound, the feel, the vigor of water. Your similes are beautiful, although I don't connect at all with the water as female metaphor. Yes, it has a long history--it's just not my thing. But I do connect with water as healing, as purifying, as cooling and invigorating at the same time. And then there is water as tears. Our tears certainly help to cool the out-of-balance fires. I heard David Abram say recently that the Earth needs our tears. Beautiful thought.
Priscilla, David's comment is interesting - sometimes I think the Earth needs our laughter more than our tears - the energy of hope and joy and possibility. The Earth needs our compassion and our empathy, yes, but finding bits of light in every small dark corner will perhaps move us forward and free up solution-oriented energy.

Thank you for the compliment about the similes, etc. Love that you felt the vigor enough to comment!
Lori Orser said…
Page, your writing is filled with pictures, emotion, life, and energy -- it's wonderfu. I guess technically I'm Fire, since I'm a Leo, but as a prairie dweller, I've always felt closer to air, as the praire wind is a constant companion, and speaks through the leaves of the cottonwoods, and blows through fields and meadows that bend in its path. The wind blows ideas into my head, and I hope helps with creativity and my writing! But the waterfalls... I do love them; we have few on the northern plains, but I visited Sioux Falls not long ago, and saw the falls on the Big Sioux River for which the city is named. They aren't as enormous or high as mountain falls, but they are beautiful, as is the slick rock they gradually grind down, and the still pools past them where mallards and geese swim with their young in the spring. I was able to visit the Lake District in England many years ago, and it was fall, so there were few other visitors, and the waterfalls there are incredibly, indescribably beautiful, and filled with vibrant life, and in autumn, a rainbow of earth tones. I am moved by your post, truly. Wonderful stuff!
Page Lambert said…
Lori, do you think your connection to the prairie winds has influenced your writing in any way? It would be interesting for you to look through your work, with that perspective in mind, and see how often your use references or metaphors that are connected in some way to the air. All such fun and fascinating stuff to think about!

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