It feels poetic (yet hopefully not overdone) to convey that I am sitting to write this final reflection on “living water” for the week on a rainy, spring morning. My backyard looks like a classic calendar scene of almost-April showers: green grass covered with misty water, a cloudy blue-grey sky, bright yellow daffodils dotting the yard and a purple magnolia popping its budding flowers. Several very well-fed Robins continue to forage for worms, and the sound of song-birds alternates with the splashing of rain showers. I love this time of year, filled with fresh newness and signs of growth. Poetry lives in its potentiality.
I take note of these signs of growth amid the spring rain. I am keenly aware that I spent hours yesterday writing about grief, but realize that I am being fed and filled with hope even as this writing project takes shape. Last night my dreams were also filled with transitional images. At the beginning of my dream, I stood at the arched doorway of a church where I first dipped my fingers in holy water and blessed myself before entering.
In all these images…my yard, my writing, my dream…there is growth from letting go, from releasing the living waters to do their work. This is true in nature where growth requires the rain that can nourish the roots of plants, or hydrate the creatures great and small that grow and thrive and populate the earth. It is true in my writing, as my own losses and lessons are interwoven in the scholarship that emerges from my work and study over the past several decades of life. I revisit these lessons and sorrows even as I write about adaptive growth…there is nothing in this book I am writing for others that isn’t also a lesson for my own soul. And, even as I was about to step through a new doorway in my dream, I felt the need to pause, and to find holy water to acknowledge the transition. I am so richly blessed by the vocational paths that I see unfolding in my life, but this too involves loss and change and uncertainty. It is divine presence that guides my journey, not merely my own footsteps. My spirit knows that, and my dream offered a reminder that this is what will ground me. Living Water. Holy Water.
This Lenten week comes full circle as I think and reflect on these images. Water that heals, water that nourishes, water that blesses and initiates new beginnings. Lent seems the perfect time to not hide out from the waters, but to allow living water to enter our lives and change us. Lent offers us an opportunity to get wet in the holy waters of divine presence…to let that living water sink in, to replenish us, to risk being changed, to open ourselves to the experience of new growth.
May the living waters of this season replenish mind, body, and spirit today and tomorrow and in all our tomorrows yet to emerge.