There is a magic about water, in fact water is the magic element. Apart from being the most abundant compound on Earth, covering about 70% of the planet, water has the power to constantly change. When it is cold it crystallises and freezes into ice, when hot it becomes steam, and when touched it ripples. It makes up between 65% and 78% of our body (depending on age), it also comprises over 70% of our brain, heart, skin, muscles, kidney, lungs and liver. Even 31% of our dry bones are actually water.

Water is structured in such a way that it is able to react to stimulation. Its molecules are organised in clusters that work in a similar way to a memory cell. Within each of the cells there is the capacity to memorise and transport information. The Japanese researcher Masaru Emoto demonstrated this with his water crystal project. In the study, Emoto played music, displayed words, and prayed to water while it was freezing and when the water was frozen it created distinct crystal shapes. When the words and music were positive and loving, intricate beautiful crystal shapes appeared, however when the sound and words were negative and harsh, chaotic incoherent shapes were formed. This research is particularly relevant in the light of the amount of water we have in our body. When we feel the negative energy of someone’s anger, is that the clusters of water in our body reacting directly to that stimuli? When we are with our loved ones, enjoying their company, giving and receiving positive emotions, is that feeling of well-being the water in our body reacting?

I have always found water very attractive. I love the sea, particularly the clear blue Adriatic around the Croatian islands in the South. Though I would love to walk on the sandy beaches of Northwest England where the sea was grey, and the wind was cold, but the air was soooo fresh and invigorating! I also love waterbirds with their ability to be at home by the water, on the water, in the water, and in the air above the water. I particularly love swans, and where I usually take the dogs for a walk by the River Drava, I regularly count 40 or more swans. The lovely rivers here in Northern Croatia are also home to many other birds like herons, egrets, cormorants, ducks and dippers and if I’m lucky on my walk, I will see the turquoise flash of the beautiful kingfisher as it skims just above the water.

In many cultures water is seen as holy and essential for spiritual enlightenment. As well as its spiritual symbolism, water has long been thought of as an element with medicinal and therapeutic qualities. The ancient Egyptians practised bathing rituals, the ancient Greeks used water as a healing agent and anyone travelling to the Nordic countries today will tell you of the importance of the sauna. Water was a very important element in Celtic mysticism as they saw life emerging and departing through water. And of course the healing properties of the spa water has been recognised for millennia in this part of the world. Our spiritual walks in nature will start at Varaždinske Toplice with its healing water continuously bubbling up under the ruins of the temple to Goddess Minerva.

When I am walking by the river I like to think about the journey of the water in the river. Possibly starting by coming up from the Earth in a tiny little spring; trickling down the mountain as a little stream; joining up with others to make a river; and then making the long journey to the sea. Water molecules evaporating in the sun and going up to join the clouds, eventually falling back to the Earth in the rain, making their way down into the Earth, sometimes directly, sometimes through pipes and drains, maybe being drawn into the roots of a tree and going right up to the leaves at the top, sometimes spending time in reservoir and lakes, and somewhere along that journey I will have a glass of water, eat food rich in water, and that drop of water for a short while will become part of my body…. and the cycle continues all across the world, from the clouds to the Earth, to the vegetation, to us……..

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