Water – The Words
Recently, a joke on the internet ran thus – a child was asked by his teacher to spell “water”. The response was immediate, “h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o”. The puzzled teacher asked for an explanation for this strange answer. The child replied, “but just yesterday you told us, teacher, that water was h to 0!” A moment’s pause and the pun became apparent – h20 !!!
Day three of the photography course brings me to my musings on water.
Having lived almost all my life along the coast, being inland gives me a strange sense of claustrophobia. It is as if the endless vista of water is a promise of escape and freedom. Oddly, for someone who loves the ocean, I have a healthy dose of fear for the currents. And I have never liked to watch the waves at night. Especially with moonlight. It always looks eerie and something about it scares me silly. Yet there is nothing so calming to a troubled mind as the sound of water. Particularly waves at night. There is a sense of eternity; it soothes the fear of mortality, perhaps. There is a constant rhythm that defies the chaos we have turned our world, and our lives, into. There is the knowledge, withal, that those gentle waves can rise – sometimes just the one wave – and wash us all away like the flotsam we really are, on the sea of creation.
The monsoon has always spelled magic to me. I have spent hours simply watching the rain fall – steadily dripping from the eaves, running down window panes, being driven by the wind or just pouring straight down from the skies. I have sailed paper boats in roadside streams, I have splashed in puddles clad in my raincoat and gumboots. The lightening and thunder that precedes the downpour – especially on a dark night – is indescribable in its beauty and raw power. And then suddenly the heady petrichor comes wafting in – the smell of the first rain on parched earth – we call it mitti in Hindi – mud (and the smell of). There is no perfume we could distill or blend that comes close. Could anything herald the birth of new life better than this?
I have dangled my feet in tiny mountain streams and watched huge rivers cascade with the fury of the Gods. I have heard stories of people tumbling over waterfalls and watched rainbows forming in them too.
I have tried innumerable times to bring into my home the sound of running water – little and big water features. I should learn some lesson, perhaps, from my complete lack of success! Pumps fail regularly, containers spring a leak. The very fact that I succeed in growing mainly water-wise plants – cacti, succulents – should teach me that lesson, perhaps!
But most of all water, for me, is all about reflections. Reflections on a still pond and reflections rippling away in the breeze. Reflections of the earth, the sky. Myself. Reflections of our life and times. Reflections of the past and dreams for the future …