A Separation of Life


Water, the median of life. Growing up in a small town nestled tightly in the arms of the wasatch front, I learned early the importance of nature. There was a fine line drawn between religion and the outdoors, and the quest of my life was to determine an appropriate balance. Water, signifying the line between the spiritual and physical, played an important role in my secular teachings. Cutting through the center of town it was the very phenomenon that I had grown to love, the river. Soul restored and imagination stirred, the words of the river echoed the marks of God. Although by nature I stood alone, untutored and untouched, the waters of life left me free to understand the natural side of God\'s order. With its flowing properties and unbridled passion to move forward, the water was my spirit.

An old weathered palm tree emerged from the seemingly impenetrable sandy beach. I leaned back against its rough surface as the waves of the emerald blue ocean slowly crawled to my feet. They lapped relentlessly against the shore as if trying to take me back with them. The wind blew gently over the top of the distant incoming waves as they mirrored back the competing rays of sun. With each reflection, I narrowly squinted my eyes and continued to marvel at this picturesque interaction of color and beauty.

I raised my hand to my brow, wiping off the beads of sweat that saturated my face. As my fingers moved across my sensitive skin, I could tell the sun had left its mark. I felt their was no escaping the blanket of rays only the clouds above seemed to be able to control. The pain was uncomfortable, but disappeared quickly as I scooped up the cool water and splashed it on my face.

I knew that I could not drink the seemingly infinite volume of water which surrounded me, so I headed for a nearby stream. Kneeling down, I penetrated the stream with cupped hands and raised the fresh water to my dry lips. I was unable to control the water as it sifted through my fingers and ran down my arms, as if trying to escape back to the stream. I licked my salty lips and drank. I had never before tasted a more refreshing drink of water. This euphoric experience was one that I savored, as I reached for a second handful.

There have been few experiences throughout my life that I remember more vividly than of that day on the beach. I often think about where the water would flow, and who would be the recipient of its aqueous forgiveness. This simple stream had been the solution to my unquenchable need for sustenance. My connection, as if umbilical, was met when I broke the skin of mother natures body to partake of her life giving substance. But, something separated me from that world which existed internally beneath the stream. This was the first spiritual encounter I remembered having with water. The thoughts of these experiences connected my inner most soul with the interaction of beauty and nature. Not a nature that I fully understood , but an understanding of the line that connects the perfection of life to a spiritual world. Eventually all things merged into one, and I would understand both physical and spiritual, but until then I would be left untutored.

All existence seems to fade into a being. Memories past and present, would leave with them impressions of the future. These memories always brought me back to the river which cut through my town, and the water which had brought me closer to the line of spirituality.

The blanket of life stretched across the valley as the wind blew calmly over the tops of the trees. I fastened my khaki green bag to my shoulder as I slowly released the tension of my line sending the small hook end over end into the water. The occasional silver flash of light broke through the undercurrent of water as I pulled my hook over the rocks and twigs that extended through the river body.

Fishing was something that I enjoyed more than anything. I had spent much