"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water," penned one of my favorite authors, Loren Eiseley. The essayist followed this assertion with his own wizardry, sharing the image of his floating on his back on the Platte River and feeling himself "sliding off the vast, tilted face of the continent." These are words I read three decades ago, yet they've stuck. They're here, I think, because of their truth: water is a magic substance.
It's not just that water is essential for all life (that's pretty significant), it's that water can take so many forms, can have so many impacts, can make or break a landscape, can create images that take away a breath or two. A Japanese writer, Masaru Emoto, has photographed water forming into ice crystals and published some astounding assertions in his book "The Hidden Messges in Water." Emoto maintained that ice crystals form differently depending on what they're exposed to. Water that is exposed to beautiful music forms lovely jewels of symmetry, while water that is exposed to harsh (heavy metal) music forms asymmetrical, homely crystals. Water that is spoken to kindly, hearing phrases like "You are beautiful," forms beautiful crystals, while water that is spoken to with derision ("You are a fool!") or is ignored forms homely, misshapen crystals.
Emoto's message is pretty simple. If we express love and gratitude to water, its crystals are sublimely beautiful. If we are unkind or indifferent to water, its crystals lack the splendor and stability of those formed in the face of benificence. The writer expands the thought to all things on the planet, plants, animals, humans. Remember how we were told in the seventies to talk to our houseplants? Emoto asserts that this is sound advice, as long as our messages are good ones.
Academic scholars have poo-poohed Emoto's work but that doesn't deter me from thinking he has some fine hints for us. If we are grateful and loving to all of our surroundings, we have a positive impact. If we don't ignore, but acknowledge and praise, the elements that give us life, what harm can come?
My first prayer of each day is made to the heavens, when I let my golden retriever outside. I praise the beauty of this creation and give thanks that I have the miracle of another day. Here, indeed, is yet another chance to do good! Maybe my praise, my kind thoughts and prayers, will impact the planet. Maybe, just maybe, my comments "You are beautiful" and "Thank you for this day" will make water decide to take on some stunning crystalline shapes.