FOR NINE MONTHS we breathe in it. The sight of water in oceans, rivers, and lakes is soothing to the spirit as almost nothing else. To swim in it is to become as weightless and untrammeled as in dreams. The wake of a ship, the falling of a cataract, and the tumbling of a brook can hold us spellbound for hours, and in times of drought we feel as parched in our being as the lawn that crackles beneath our feet.

Air is our element, but water is our heart's delight. "My flesh faints for thee," the Psalmist sings, "as in a dry and weary land where no water is" (63:1). And among the last things that Jesus ever said, and among the most human, were the words, "I thirst" (John 19:28). 

-Originally published in Beyond Words

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