Posted in photography, travel

Something in the water

blogIMG_9118Must be something in the water.

I’ve heard that idiom so many times and I believe it is probably something we Americans say that causes other nationalities to scratch their heads and say, “Whatever do they mean?”

When we utter that remark, we don’t mean it literally but generally we use that phrase when something strange or unusual happened and the only explanation you can come up with is that there’s something in the water everyone is drinking to make that occur.

For example, when several women you know are expecting a baby, you might say, “Must be something in the water” to explain such a prevalence of pregnancy.

It’s just a silly way of offering up a reason.

So I don’t know if there actually IS something in the water, but for me, there’s something ABOUT the water. There’s something that draws me to it. There’s something about sitting oceanside, lakeside, riverside, or beside a creek or waterfall that just creates a restful, peaceful feeling in me.

Part of it may come from my faith in Jesus Christ because in my faith, water is a very powerful symbol and is used often in God’s Holy Word. The Psalms speak of thirsting for God, the “spring of living water.”  Jesus himself offered us living water in the form of His grace, the gift of salvation.

So water always seems to call to me to come near.

On Papa’s and my recent excursion, our travels took us to several of the Great Lakes. Prior to this trip, we had often been to Lake Erie here in our home state of Pennsylvania, but had never driven along it in our next-door neighboring state, Ohio.

Since we were on our way to Michigan and our route first took us to Toledo, Ohio, we opted to take the blue highway along Lake Erie instead of the interstate.

As always, taking the less traveled route provided different perspectives and was the more scenic. We passed through several lake towns and stopped a couple of times when lighthouses were in view.  

Lighthouses are one of our favorite landmarks to spot, and I love taking photographs of them. (I’m still hoping to do a photography series here in my blog of just the photos of all the lighthouses I’ve captured in pictures.)

We took a little detour off our route to visit one of the lighthouses along Lake Erie but were disappointed to find the structure was undergoing some renovation so it was covered. But we enjoyed a little walk around the area, stretching our legs, and basking in a lovely fall day.

And as usual, the water called to me. We walked along the lake there, stepping carefully amid the rocks, and my camera just kept clicking.

As gentle waves lapped ashore on the rocks, I thought about the ripples in moving water. Even in a still body of water we can create ripples when we skip stones across the surface. We produce a change when we do so.

That causes me to consider the ripples I may make with my words and deeds, which probably cannot make a major change in the way this world works. But I can influence the ‘world’ around me, here in my own little corner of it, by the things I say and do.

Contemplating that as I view my photos of Lake Erie makes me realize ripples, even my little ones, do go out further and further than I realize. May my ripples always be encouraging to others and pleasing to my Lord.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~ Mother Teresa


Posted in Faith, photography

A liquid magnet

blogIMG_0158.jpgIt always seems to attract my attention.

I find myself mesmerized when I catch glimpses of it.  Nine times out of 10, I’ll raise my camera to my eye, focus, and shoot, capturing and storing photos of it in my computer cache.

It’s simple but it’s complex. It can be practically still or it can be rushing.  It can be swirling or it can be gushing.  It’s life-giving but can be life-taking. 

It’s liquid and it’s water.

This week’s photo challenge theme – liquid – causes me to ponder about my favorite liquid and why it draws me like a magnet.

When I think of liquids, I immediately think of water. Not coffee, not even tea, which I do love.  Not the liquid elements mercury or bromine. Not even milk or juice. Like the song lyric from long ago, cool, clear water somehow refreshes not only my thirst but my soul.

I’m not sure why that liquid, whether it be a river, a lake, an ocean, a stream, or a waterfall, fascinates me because I’m not one of those people who are passionate about swimming or actually being in the water. 

Really deep water scares the dickens out of me, which is why Papa hasn’t been able to convince me to book a several day ocean cruise. We did board a whale watching cruise in the Pacific Ocean once, but that was just for a couple of hours.

So I’m just one of those folks who enjoys being near the water.

I’ll sit on a park bench riverside watching water flow steadily southward. I’ll bask on the sand with my eyes closed just listening to the ebb and flow of ocean waves at the beach. I’ll perch on a rock in a cool copse of woods and enjoy the babbling of a brook.

I’ll stare with wonder at a glistening waterfall cascading down a mountainside. I’ll board a water-going vessel for a sight-seeing trip. I’ll park myself comfortably on my front porch watching liquid drops of water in the form of rain descend from the clouds.

And when it comes to liquid refreshment, my first choice is always a glassful of water – cool, clear water.

I’m reminded that our human bodies are comprised of a large percentage of water – somewhere between 55-65%. We need water to sustain life because it’s absolutely essential. Without it, we can’t survive for very long because it’s vital for just about every aspect of our bodies.

So that explains why water is my beverage of choice. It’s simple biology. It’s what my body longs for.

But what is the reason I’m drawn to bodies of water like a moth to a flame? It’s not just for quenching my thirst because I surely can’t drink salty ocean water.

No, there must be some other reason why water acts like a magnet for me and my camera.

And I believe it’s because my soul longs to be near, in connection to, and in constant communication with my Savior Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” ~ John 4:13-14

I’ve often gone through periods of time in my faith when I felt like I was in the arid desert. That’s when reading God’s Word and lifting up my parched soul in prayer quenches the thirst within me.

And perhaps that’s why water calls to me. It reminds me where my river of life is found – in Christ. It reminds other believers in Jesus of that as well. I recall visiting a non-denominational church whose name was simply Liquid.

Its founders obviously intended for people thirsting for something to fill their empty parched hearts to find liquid refreshment for the soul through the saving grace of Jesus.

I just hope that living water, that life-giving liquid which has been poured into me, flows back out from me and descends on others who need their thirst for a Savior satisfied.

“I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me. Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see. Opens prison doors, let’s the captives free. I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me. Spring up, o well, within my soul. Spring up, o well, and make me whole. Spring up, o well, and give to me that life abundantly.” ~ L. Casebolt