I believe in the wonder of water. Growing up, my family didn’t have a swimming pool, never owned a boat and lived far from the nearest river, lake or ocean. As a kid, I coveted the times my sister and I could go swimming in our neighbor’s pool. My grandmother lived in La Jolla, about 2 blocks from the Pacific Ocean. Every summer, I would spend a week with her, the vegetable garden out back and, of course, the beach. I simply could not get enough of seashells, seaweed and sand castles. To this day, the family vacations I remember most vividly are the ones enjoyed near large bodies of water–visiting friends who lived along the Rogue River in Oregon, spending time with aunts and uncles on Maui and near San Francisco, and exploring Catalina Island.
I believe that water is not only one of life’s necessities, but that it is also possesses magical–even spiritual–qualities. Judes-Christian heritage is steeped in the geography and symbolism of water. The sacrament of baptism–whether by immersion or sprinkling–is central to the Christian faith. The River Jordan, the Sea of Galilee and Noah’s Ark all speak to us even today of water’s miraculous and powerful qualities. I believe that when God created the earth, He was pleased; when He created water, He was perhaps most pleased.
Not surprisingly, the most expensive places to live include real estate signs which read “lakefront lot”, “riverfront property” or “panoramic coastal views from every room”. I recently read an article about an inner-city swimming pool in Los Angeles that would have to be closed over the summer due to lack of funding. And we wonder why gangs and crime have taken over our cities. What activities might inner-city youth resort to in the heat of summer without the neighborhood watering hole? Water is a resource that should not only be enjoyed, but also protected and preserved for future generations.
From the majesty of ocean waves crashing against the rocks, to the peacefulness of a river meandering through a meadow, to the beauty of the sun’s reflection as it sets over an alpine lake, I believe in the magic of water.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.