I heard the first sounds of their coming while I lay awake in the night. At first it was a whisper, like a wind among the dry stalks of our cornfield. After a while it was a sound like the feet of warriors dancing. Then it was a roar that shook the earth. I could hardly wait until the sun rose.
When the first light showed in the east, I hurried out to see the river running. My father and mother and my sister, Lapana, had seen early springs many times before, so they were sleeping.
I stood alone in the orchard, where the peaches grow. It was a miracle. Yesterday there was nothing to see save bare trees and wide stretches of yellow sand. In one night everything had changed. The trees had begun to bud and the sand lay deep under blue, rushing water.
I felt like singing. I wanted to leap and dance with joy, yet I stood quietly and watched the river running between the greening cottonwood trees, for I knew that it is bad luck to be so happy." -Sing Down the Moon by Scott O'Dell
At lunch yesterday I was telling the little boys that I hadn't taken a water picture for the day yet. We had been to the playground to ride bikes and I had a lot of pictures, but none of water. I didn't expect them to have a response, I was sort of talking to myself in their presence. Buddy, my six year old, said, "How about a picture of something like water but not water? Shiny." He nodded over to the fender of the bike parked next to him. Isn't that clever? I had actually taken this shot of the shiney bike fender of Punkin's trike.
"'It's funny about paths and rivers,'" he mused. You see them go by, and suddenly you feel upset and want to be somewhere else - wherever the path or the river is going perhaps. I shall have to tell Moomintroll about this, and we can explore it together, because it would be a bit risky for me to go alone." Then he carved a secret sign on a tree-trunk with his pen-knife, so that he could find the place again, and thought proudly: "Moomintroll will be surprised." And after that he scooted home as fast as he could so as not to be late for lunch." - Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson
"The flat creek bank was warm, soft mud. Little pale-yellow and pale-blue butterflies hovered there, and alighted and sipped. Bright dragonflies flew on blurry wings. The mud squeezed up between Laura's toes. Where she stepped, and where Mary stepped, and where the oxen had walked, there were tiny pools of water in their footprints.
Ma laughed when Laura and Mary came to dinner and supper, all splashed and muddy, with green necklaces around their necks and the long green tubes in their hands. They brought her bouquets of the blue flags and she put them on the table to make it pretty.
'I declare,' she said, 'you two play in the creek so much, you'll be turning to water-bugs!'" -On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
"There's a real power here. It is amazing that trees can turn gravel and bitter salts into these soft-lipped lobes, as if I were to bite down on a granite slab and start to swell, bud, and flower. Trees seem to do their feats so effortlessly. Every year a given tree creates absolutely from scratch ninety-nine percent of its living parts. Water lifting up tree trunks can climb one hundred and fifty feet an hour; in full summer a tree can, and does, heave a ton of water every day. A big elm in a single season might make as many as six million leaves, wholly intricate, without budging an inch; I couldn't make one. A tree stands there, accumulating deadwood, mute and rigid as a obelisk, but secretly it seethes; it splits, sucks, and stretches; it heaves up tons and hurls them out in a green, fringed fling. No person taps this free power; the dynamo in the tulip tree pumps out ever more tulip tree, and it runs on rain and air." - Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
"Nothing else in the world would do but the pure water which had been summoned from the lakes far away and the sweet fields of grassy dew on early morning, lifted to the open sky, carried in laundered clusters, nine hundred miles brushed with wind, electrified with high voltage, and condensed upon cool air. This water, falling, raining, gathered yet more of the heavens in its crystals. Taking something of the east wind and the west wind and the north wind and the south, the water made rain and the rain, within this hour of rituals, would be well on its way to wine.
Douglas ran with the dipper. He plunged it deep in the rain barrel. 'Here we go!'
The water was silk in the cup; clear, faintly blue silk. It softened the lip and the throat and the heart, if drunk. This water must be carried in dipper and bucket to the cellar, there to be leavened in freshets, in mountains stream, upon the dandelion harvest." -Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
"And now he realized that there was a delicious coolness over every part of him except his head, that his feet rested on nothing, and that he had for sometime been performing unconsciously the actions of a swimmer. He was riding the formless swell of an ocean, fresh and cool after the fierce temperatures of Heaven, but warm by earthly standards - as warm as a shallow bay with sandy bottom in a sub-tropical climate. As he rushed smoothly up the great convex hillside of the next wave he got a mouthful of the water. It was hardly at all flavored with salt; it was drinkable - like fresh water and only, by an infinitesimal degree, less insipid. Though he had not been aware of thirst till now, his drink gave him a quite astonishing pleasure. It was almost like meeting Pleasure itself for the first time. He buried his flushed face in the green translucence, and when he withdrew it, found himself once more on the top of a wave.
There was no land in sight. The sky was pure, flat gold like the background of a medieval pictures. It looked very distant - as far off as a cirrhus cloud looks from earth. The ocean was gold too, in the offing, flecked with innumerable shadows. The nearer waves, though golden where their summits caught the light, were green on their slopes: first emerald, and lower down a lustrous bottle green, deepening to blue where they passed beneath the shadow of other waves." -Perelandra by C.S. Lewis
"They had driven over the crest of a hill. Below them was a pond, looking almost like a river so long and winding was it. A bridge spanned it midway and from there to its lower end, where an amber-hued belt of sand hills shut it in from the dark blue gulf beyond, the water was a glory of many shifting hues - the most spiritual shadings of crocus and rose and ethereal green, with other elusive tintings for which no name has ever been found. Above the bridge the pond ran up into fringing groves of fir and maple and lay all darkly translucent in their wavering shadows. Here and there a wild plum leaned out from the bank like a white-clad girl tipping to her own reflection. From the marsh at the head of the pond came the clear, mournfully-sweet chorus of the frogs. There was a little gray house peering around a white apple orchard on a slope beyond and, although it was not yet quite dark, a light was shining from one of its windows." - Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
"Papa looked down at me and brought me closer, then waved his hand toward the drive. 'You see that fig tree over yonder, Cassie? Them other trees all around... that oak and walnut, they're a lot bigger and they take up more room and give so much shade they almost overshadow that little ole fig. But that fig tree's got roots that run deep, and it belongs in that yard as much as that oak and walnut. It keeps on blooming, bearing good fruit year after year, knowing all the time it'll never get as big as them other trees. Just keeps on growing and doing what it gotta do. It don't give up It give up, it'll die. There's a lesson to be learned from that little tree, Cassie girl, 'cause we're like it. We keep doing what we gotta, and we don't give up. We can't.'"
"On Thursday, when they were to return, it began to rain, a hard, swelling summer rain which brought a premature green darkness to the land and forced us to leave our hoeing of the cotton field and return to the house. As the thunder rumbled overhead, Mama peered out the window at the dark road. 'Wonder what's keeping them', she said, more to herself than anyone else.'"
"The day grew lighter and warmer as they floated along. After a while the river rounded a steep shoulder of land that came down upon their left. Under its rocky feet like an inland cliff the deepest stream had flowed lapping and bubbling. Suddenly the cliff fell away. The shores sank. The trees ended. Then Bilbo saw a sight:
The lands opened wide about him, filled with the waters of the river which broke up and wandered in a hundred winding courses, or halted in marshes and pools dotted with isles on every side; but still a strong water flowed on steadily through the midst. And far away, its dark head in a torn cloud, there loomed the Mountain! It's nearest neighbors to the North-East and the tumbled land that joined it to them could not be seen. All alone it rose and looked across the marshes to the forest. The Lonely Mountain! Bilbo had come far and through many adventures to see it, and now he did not like the look of it in the least." -The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
"Now the Lady arose, and Celeborn led them back to the hythe. A yellow noon lay on the green land of the Tongue, and the water glittered with silver. All at last was made ready. The Company took their places in the boats as before. Crying farewell, the Elves of Lorien with long grey poles thrust them out into the flowing stream, and the rippling waters bore them slowly away. The travelers sat still without moving or speaking. On the green bank near to the very point of the Tongue the Lady Galadriel stood alone and silent. As they passed her they turned and their eyes watched her slowly floating away from them. For so it seemed to them: Lorien was slipping backward, like a bright ship masted with enchanted trees, sailing on to forgotten shores, while they sat helpless upon the margin of the grey and leafless world.
Even as they gazed, the Silverlode passed out into the currents of the Great River, and their boats turned and began to speed southward. Soon the white form of the Lady was small and distant. She shone like a window of glass upon a far hill in the westering sun, or as a remote lake seen from a mountain: a crystal fallen in the lap of the land. Then it seemed to Frodo that she lifted her arms in a final farewell, and far but piercing-clear on the following wind came the sound of her voice singing. But now she sang in the ancient tongue of the Elves beyond the Sea, and he did not understand the words: fair was the music, but it did not comfort him." - The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
"The second thing I remember is that I went up to the spring of our creek in the fog in early morning in the winter. It was my first time as a Blue Clay child to dip up water for the new-moon wakwa. I was so cold I cried. The older children laughed at me and said I had spoiled the water. My grandmother was officiating, and she told me the water was all right, and let me carry the moon-jar all the way back to town; but I bawled and snivelled all the way, because I was cold and heavy. I can feel that cold and wet and weight now in old age, and see the dead arms of the manzanita black in the fog, and hear the voices laughing and talking before and behind me on the steep path beside the creek." -"Stone Telling" from Always Coming Home by Ursula K. LeGuin
"I swirled on my heel. Nothing but boulders around me. But the air was damp, somewhere - I said - and darted around the rocks, peering and looking and sniffing and going down into pockets and dales. No water. I was coming back, circling wide, when I almost fell in it. Two sentinel boulders, dripping wet, decorated with flowers, ferns, moss, weeds - everything that loved water - guarded a bathtub-sized spring.
"You pretty thing," I said, flopped on my stomach, and pushed my face into it to drink. I opened my eyes. The water was like glass, and in it were little insects with oars. They rowed away from me. Beetles skittered like bullets on the surface, or carried a silver bubble of air with them to the bottom. Ha, then I saw a crayfish." - My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
I'm scanning my shelves looking for books I've loved that have luscious passages about water. What stories come to mind for you?
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. -1 Corinthians 10:31
"They walked some distance, Matt managing to keep pace with the Indian's swift stride, determined not to let Attean know that his ankle was aching. They seemed to be following no particular trail. Finally they came out on a part of the creek that Matt had not seen before. It was shallow here, studded with rocks and pebbles, so that the water, rippling over them, made little rapids or collected in quiet pools. Here Attean stopped, broke off a sapling, and instead of making a fish pole, drew his knife from his pouch and quickly shaved a sharp point, making a spear. Then he stepped gently into the stream. Matt stood watching." - The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth Speare George
"Two hours later, with breakfast eaten, Mother gone to work and the dishes done, the four children escaped at last, and came out into the sun. It was fine weather, warm and blue-skied and full of possibilities, and the day began well, with a glint of something metal in a crack in the sidewalk." - Half Magic by Edward Eager
"Leaving the main stream, they now passed into what seemed at first sight like a little land-locked lake. Green turf sloped down to either edge, brown snaky tree-roots gleamed below the surface of the quiet water, while ahead of them the silvery shoulder and foamy tumble of a weir, arm-in-arm with a restless dripping mill-wheel, that held up in its turn a grey-gabled mill-house, filled the air with a soothing murmur of sound, dull and smothery yet with little clear voices speaking up cheerfully out of it at intervals. It was so very beautiful that the Mole could only hold up both forepaws and gasp, 'O my! O my! O my!'" -The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. -1Corinthians 6:19-20
Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. -1 Corinthians 5:7-8
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus,that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. -1 Corinthians 1:4-9
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. 2 Thessolonians 2:16-17
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. -1 Thessolonians 4:16-17
When I was growing up in the Orthodox Presbyterian church (one of the most conservative of the "split P s") there was a joke going around:
Why do we know the OPs will be the first ones to get to heaven?
Because the Bible says, "The dead in Christ will rise first."
Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you,and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you,so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. -1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
This is an Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower) bud. The pale yellow petals sticking straight up will turn purple and lay flatter when fully unfurled. They are just starting to open in my garden. This one is in the shade at about noon.
But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. - 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8
I wish I could share the scent of this flower with you through the computer. It is so sweet and calming. Jasmine tea is one of the things I learned to love when I lived in China. I buy the same brand of loose leaf tea in the yellow tin (Foojoy Jasmine Tea - grown and packed in China. It's what we drank when I lived there) and enjoy it after dinner many nights. It's sold in grocery stores or Asian markets. The plant is in a pot outside the dinning room window and the flower's scent wafts in on the breeze in the evenings.
I took photos all through 2007-09 for Project 365 to post at least one photo a day. Now that my oldest son is in the Air Force we are using this photo blog to share our adventures with him across the miles.