“I had fewer difficulties in discovering the motions of the heavenly bodies, despite their incredible distances, than I did in investigating the motion of flowing water, something that takes place before our eyes.”—Galileo Galilei
The amount of moisture on Earth hasn’t changed since the dinosaurs quenched their thirst in the soupy marshes of the Triassic Period, millions of years ago, to the rain falling on your house today.
“Water circulates around the globe,” scientist and philosopher Masaru Emoto shares in The Secret Life of Water (2005). It flows through our bodies and spreads to the rest of the world. “If we were capable of reading this information contained in the memory of water,” he adds, “we would read a story of epic proportions.”
Water circulates on Earth through the global water (hydrological) cycle. Its balance on the planet is expressed through constant input, output, storage and transformation. Precipitation, evaporation, transpiration, freezing, melting and condensation circulate water and energy in a never-ending global process that flows from clouds to land, to the ocean, and back to the clouds (NASA, 2010). Income from precipitation, surface influents, and groundwater sources is balanced by outflow from surface effluents, seepage to ground water and evapotranspiration. Each income and loss varies seasonally and geographically and is governed by climate, watershed characteristics and the morphology of water bodies (Wetzel, 2001).
“It’s hard to find anything more beautiful than dew on flower petals and leaves,” says Emoto in The Secret Life of Water. “A single drop of dew falls off the tip of a sprouting leaf on a branch and makes its descent, through the forest canopy, and lands on the back of a frog…Water spreads itself…to shower love on the frog and the new sprout—and to be loved in return. Just as a mother instinctively loves her newborn, water in infancy is loved by all of nature.”
Over two thousand years ago, Thales posited that all things come from water and that all heavenly bodies, including Earth, float in water. “Water,” says William E. Marks, author of The Holy Order of Water (2001), “may be the connecting interstellar intermediary between all matter in the universe. Just as a thrown pebble sends waves of energy rippling through every water molecule in a pond, changes in any planet or sun may also send waves of energy rippling through every water molecule throughout the universe.”
The movement of water is not easily described or calculated. A whole science (fluid mechanics) evolved to describe it and has yet to describe it fully. Wilkens, Jacobi and Wolfgang Schwenk, authors of Understanding Water (2005), suggest that it is impossible to describe the variety of manifestations of water with static concepts. Water, they say, naturally meanders, spirals, and creates sinuous patterns in space—patterns that reflect the vortex form. “The vortex is the mediator between the polarity of motion and stillness,” they say. Quiescence and motion, vortex generation, metamorphosis, decay and again quiescence, in a continual cycle of motion.
Theodor Schwenk shared that, “Water does not have the characteristics of the living, but without water there is no life…Water does not have the…expressions of life [growth, fertilization, reproduction, metamorphosis, nourishment, metabolism, and so on], but these all become possible through water. What is it that enables water to accomplish this? By renouncing every self-quality it becomes the creative substance for the generation of all forms. By renouncing every life of its own it becomes the primal substance for all life. By renouncing every fixed substance it becomes the carrier of all substance transformation. By renouncing every rhythm of its own it becomes the carrier of each and every rhythm.”
It is the ultimate altruist.
Nina Munteanu is an ecologist, limnologist and internationally published author of award-nominated speculative novels, short stories and non-fiction. She is co-editor of Europa SF and currently teaches writing courses at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for the latest on her books.