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 of my growing up years slipping on the rocks that
lined the bottom of this river bed like mosaic tiles. Although
it had been quite some time since I had visited “the river”,
the smooth sound of the water as it meandered by
welcomed me back. As the sun beat down, racing its way
through the trees, I was reminded of the experiences I had
with the stream before. Taking the fresh cool