Time, Like Water Flowing
Mostly we think about time as linear. But truly it is a continuous flow, like water.
Water is never lost, it simply changes form. From solid to liquid to vapor, water on this planet is ubiquitous. It’s everywhere around us, and everywhere within us. Its flowing and changing forms are also in every way continuous, flowing and unbroken.
Let’s start at the mountain spring. High in the mountains the water springs forth. It bubbles out from the rock, or flows from snow melt into rushing liquid, jumping over and around rocks and boulders as it laughingly follows its nature to seek low ground.
It becomes a brook, grows into a creek, spills out into a lake, cascades over a cliff into a waterfall. Rushes down a canyon in a whitewater flurry. Joins with other creeks, rolls through woodlands.
Creatures come and drink from its banks. Logs fall across its path. It pools, eddies and flows on. As it reaches lower elevations it stretches out into a wide river curving sinuously across the planes.
As it reaches the sea it spreads out in a marshy brackish delta. Ocean tides now swell and reduce its volume and soon it is one with the great ocean.
This great liquid sea covers about 71% of our planet surface. In the extreme north and south and at high elevation, water is frozen into ice. Glaciers creep across land masses, carving and calving and joining the great ocean.
Wind and temperature lift water up in vapor into the sky. Clouds form and build and fall down again in liquid rain, from snowy hale, to drizzles, to torrential downpours. The land masses get alternately drenched by it as masses of vapor laden atmosphere swirl and curl through the sky.
Indeed water is everywhere flowing, changing, swirling converting, transforming, conveying.
Now, the invitation is to see time and water as one. Rather than linear time marching ever forward, see time flowing, looping and continuing forward, backward, up, down and all around.
Imagine your life like water. For many it seems that youth is the mountain stream. The child springs forth from its mother’s womb, like the spring from the rock. It then grows and grows, finding its way forward, over and around obstacles. And rambunctious youth is like white water, careening through the twists and turns of growing up.
Adult life then follows, like the broad, strong, meandering river winding its way across the great plain. And finally elder life, like the delta, brackish with its tidal flow, rises and falls until finally it joins fully with the great ocean.
So your entire lifetime can be seen as a river flowing. And the invitation to see your life as a river brings with it the awareness that your youth and your elder-hood and all of your adult years are all happening all the time. Complete with storms and cloud rides, and underground traverses, waterfalls and dams, pools and lakes. The river of your life is in continuous flow.
So when you are feeling stuck in linear time, drop down and into this watery flow. Go up stream to your past and reclaim an insight hard won, an obstacle overcome. Go downstream into your future and find the broad meandering purposeful flow. Go ahead and venture out into the ocean where your personal identity completely dissolves back into oneness with all that is.
Indeed time can be in this way a multi-faceted ride, filled with limitless potentials and possibilities of all shades. Released from linear prison, ride the waves of time and life, down and up, across and through, and feel into the great vastness of possibility that is there for you.
Water, time, rivers wide, oceans deep, storms and calm, life offers you this reflection, carrying you through every situation.
Enjoy the ride, water and time are ever flowing.