One of the simple pleasures of life for me is going to the lakeshore or seashore. Standing or sitting I gaze at the sky and waves. I listen to waves coming ashore touching the sand and rocks.
There is something about water which draws life to it.
As we all know, fresh water is essential for land life to flourish on this planet traversing the cosmos. The oceans are teeming with a vast array of life forms exotic and mysterious.
In our literature, music and poetry the sea is mentioned frequently. We are thrilled with those who have ventured onto the waterways of earth, especially when they return with rich stories of the sights and sounds which greeted them on their voyage.
We read the stories of mighty ships and mariners. Their adventures resonate within us for we tend to long for the water beyond the horizon.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER exhilarates our spirit with its mortality tale of an aged mariner and the murder of the albatross. A sea curse cannot be easily outrun on the high seas. And the conclusion of the matter is so true:
“He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.”
Herman Melville’s MOBY DICK is a tragic tale of obsession as a man searches for the beast which took his leg. When man tangles with the mystery of the deep, the results are usually an indictment of humanity’s destructive tendencies. Whalers plied the oceans for the great beasts in order to supply the growing demands of the land dwellers for the precious substance “as rare as the milk of queens”.
Landers have always needed the water to continue their existence on terra firma. Perhaps, this dependence has something to do with the basic fact that we are about 60% water. Our brain is 70% water and our lungs 90%.
We are interconnected with the water on this planet. According to the theory of evolution life originated in the water before this primordial creature crawled out onto land. Interesting theory, but life as complex as it is on this earth defies the odds of chance or nature’s gamble, especially when you consider the essential component of all life as we know it—water.
The earth is 70% water. If the cosmic forces which came together at some epoch had not produced water on this planet, then life would not have originated.
Life in all its abundance is marvelous. It would be safe to say earthly life reflects the colossus of life which exists above us in the cosmos, an intricate labyrinth.
Since our life journey began in water, the amniotic sac of the womb, perhaps our origins as a species began in the amniotic sac of the cosmos. Our theories and postulates of how life began on this planet are elementary and insufficient, to say the least. At best, our current scientific understanding is at the same level as when the Denisovans sat around their campfires in the Altai Mountains and pondered on the nature of fire and the stars above them.
For in the infinite majesty which we behold with wonder at night, there are hints that our origins are complex and ancient. The secrets lie in the cosmic ocean, the womb of creation. For life as we know it is an aggregation of what lies beyond the comprehension which we presently possess.
Water, the elixir of existence, holds an appeal for us. It runs through our arteries and floats above us in clouds, the harbingers of a living planet.
May your own search for the ungraspable phantom of life be one of infinite discovery. Allow Ishmael, the narrator of Moby Dick, to relate your fabulous voyage on the sea of life to those who will come after you. For Ishmael is the legacy which you leave behind on this orb after you have faded from this reality.
G. D. Williams © 2012
THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER