Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oh, Water Our Souls--Gibson

Morning. The sun has barely lifted itself off the horizon but already its bright needles have sewn long stitches of light across my backyard. Lacy leaves flutter in silhouette against the silk sky, God-scattered with cotton batting clouds.

The organza moon, with transparent grin, observes me pacing my patch of velvet grass, watering the young plants that dot the gardens like knots of chartreuse embroidery.

Before summer's end a tapestry of color will obscure this black corduroy soil, tuck it in right to the edges. But today I watch the dirt welcome the water I bring. Rivulets form a wide mesh of brightness, then vanish, whispering, into dark earth. Crystal beads cling tenuously to parsley fringes and decorate neatly folded fern buds.

A brown button of a bird perches on the edge of the bird bath and fluffs its wings, anticipating. We've had a peck of rain this year--and last--but after this long-awaited hot spell, nature pants for relief. This is the task for which water was made: to quench thirst; to cleanse, to grow roots. To decorate soil and make of it a receiving blanket suitable to encompass and foster new growth.

I'm thankful for long hoses and outside taps. But watering, every gardener knows, merely invites rain to do the job over again: fling open a cloud and let loose a transparent veil of long silver needles.

I’ve noticed that when God tilts his own watering can over our small quilt of earth, gardens smile. To soil accustomed to tap-water, rain must feel like dessert—the herbs seem more flavorful, the colors more vibrant, the flowers extra fragrant. Even bees seem more cheerful after the heavens open.

I think of that this morning, as I recall Jesus' comments about Living Water. The stuff the plumps up souls, makes of them transparent reflections of his own. Living Water, found only in direct connection with God--a God most forgotten, even by his own.

God mourns, the Word says, when people forget him. Jeremiah 2 lists his lament: “They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns—broken cisterns that can’t hold water.”

This morning, recalling the litany of grief we call world news, and two summers of mostly-wet, I wonder if the rain is God’s tears.

Find author, columnist, and broadcaster Kathleen Gibson online at


Peter Black said...

I chuckle and smile, Kathleen ... No, not with derision, but with delight! What an engaging panorama you paint of your experience with and musings about your garden, the heavenly bodies, and nature's cycles.
Thank you for the concluding appeal -- gentle, sobering and inspirational.

violet said...

Beautiful meditation, Kathleen. Love the corduroy soil, the crystal beads on the parsley and the quilt of earth -- together with the reminder to not forsake God, who rains down living water.

Kathleen Gibson said...

Thank you, both! You are true encouragers.

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