Winter’s Watery Wisdom

Windbeeches on the Schauinsland in Germany (Bl...

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Empty your mind; be formless and shapeless like water. Now, you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup; you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle; you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash; be water, my friend – Bruce Lee

We are slowly beginning to exit winter just as the entrance to the next season starts to open up a little. It is comforting to feel the warmth of spring’s sun-rays as we begin to anticipate all the wonderful sights and sounds we shall be graced with this New Year. This is when mother earth begins to reveal everything she has been quietly creating since the summer. Spring is the revelation of creativity and it is a truly mesmerising time of year, where new ideas are born and old ones reborn; where the dim light of the Phoenix is revived. However, it is wise to take note of the season that we are now leaving. Winter is very special for many reasons; it is cold and brings the opportunity for many cosy cuddles from beloved family and friends. Winter is a time to come together and gather ourselves but most importantly, our thoughts; for it is the time when the bulk of our energy is transferred to the northern part of the body which is the head. It is also the time when the element of water presides over all the other elements, and it is on these last two points that I am most interested in speaking about.

Waters Qualities

We all know the many qualities of water; it is pure, it flows, it is non-resistant and sometimes forceful but most of all;

  • water is the supporter of life for without water, it will be very difficult for a great deal of life to be sustained. Simply imagine the Sahara and you will get the picture.
  • Water is tranquil but can just as easily become turbulent and wreak havoc if it is not properly controlled or directed.
  • Water is like a mirror. It reflects what it sees and it reminds us that winter is a time for reflection; a time to dig deeper into ourselves and find out who we are, just as we find water when we dig deeper into the earth. When water is closely observed, it can teach us a great deal about ourselves and the world around us.

For example, dropping a pebble in a lake starts a ripple that flows continuously until its vibrations are no longer visible to the naked eye. This teaches us about cause and effect; that our actions create an endless stream of rippling reactions, even when we are unaware of what those reactions may be. A good teacher is said to be wise and this is true of water for it is a very wise teacher indeed. Water is wisdom and the given example is just one of its many expressions. My wish is that you too are able to unlock more of its wisdom for yourself, when you allow water to become one of your noble teachers.

Water and The Kingdom Of Heaven

I want to illustrate this brief article with an observation I made while watching a film called Kingdom of Heaven. At some point in the film, the character Balian de Ibelin, played by the English actor Orlando Bloom, inherits his father’s land in Israel. On his arrival, the young Knight realises that the land was hard and infertile and sustaining life there was very difficult for its inhabitants for the reason that it was impossible to plant crops.

Immediately, Balian orders that a well be dug and after digging for a while, they find water. The people are happy and they rejoice. Meanwhile, some of the water is stored in a huge vessel, awaiting further use. Balian then orders that a network of canals and waterways also be dug so that the land may be irrigated and become fertile enough to farm and grow crops. The necessary tasks were performed and the waterways were ready for use. Finally, Balian and the townspeople lower and empty the huge vessel containing the stored water into the channel and the water spread around the land in the way it was intended to. Not before long, the land that had been void of vegetation during his father’s time begins to see its first fruits spring forth from the earth. This is a beautiful story that taught me some more about water and how it should be administered. Let’s now analyse exactly what happened and see how it can be applied in our own lives.

The Insight

After careful observation, I noticed that:

  • Balian dug for water, meaning that he dug for wisdom.
  • When he found water, he stored it in a vessel for later use. Similarly, when we dig deeper into ourselves in winter and find wisdom, we should know what we intend to use it for or store it somewhere safe until such a time arises.
  •  Balian then defined a set route or course for the water to follow because he knew that water (wisdom) needs to be controlled and directed or else it overflows and causes floods, which can be disastrous. In the same way, we too must have a predetermined objective or purpose for which we need to acquire wisdom. This enables us to mark its boundaries and carefully guide it toward the areas where it is mostly needed, instead of misdirecting it and then being overwhelmed by its force and power.
  • Finally, Balian lowers the vessel and releases the stored water (wisdom) into the waterway and it followed the set route that was mapped out for it. Balian de Ibelin applied the water he had stored to the waterway. In other words, he applied the wisdom that he had previously acquired, to the predetermined way he had set out for wisdom (water) to flow into. And in using that same wisdom, he was able to accomplish his objective. It was amazing to see the community gather around to watch the water spread around their land, promoting life and supporting their existence.

This is what happens when wisdom is properly applied; it achieves its objectives and spreads around the world, offering help to those who are in sincere need of it.

Winter’s Wise Waters

Winter's Watery WisdomThis is the wisdom of winter and its waters. It reminds us to search deeper within ourselves in order to find the answers to questions that perplex us, so that our perception becomes as clear as pure water itself. In this state of mind, we are able to discover and decipher new ways of how we can create a better existence for ourselves and loved ones.

Winter’s wisdom helps to nurture and water the seeds that have been planted in the soil of the mind, thereby ensuring that new creative ideas will spring forth in springtime. Winter’s water bids us to have faith that once wisdom is applied to any given situation, she will prove herself worthy of being called wise as she flows around, effortlessly encircling the obstacles in her path. Winter is beautiful and water is blissful. I acknowledge their effects over me and salute the pure rejuvenating energy they bring, but most of all; I thank winter and its waters for the profound clarity of my thoughts, for its sublime nature, and for its natural watery-wisdom.


By E. Nyoreme Nakpodia

Winter’s Watery Wisdom © 2011 Nyoremes Books, a subsidiary of Nyoremes Inc.

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