We wove our way down the mountainside, traversing on a snow covered path, down to the lifeline. Down, down, where gravity leads, to the veins that carry living waters. We stopped at the water's edge, just over the bridge. David sought fish, but on this late winter day I sought sunshine, and so I opened the window of the car and leaned into the sunlight, a good book planted in my lap. David covered himself with gear and walked into the water, his rod in his hand.I read for some time, until my eyelids felt the effects of gravity, and I napped there in the sunlight. How beautiful and rare it is when you have no need for time. I think our souls feel a longing for timelessness. I woke rested and refreshed, and decided to take a walk along the road at the river's edge. The warmth of the sun had made the crusty snow give way, and I followed footprints as I walked, the beauty of the scenery pulling my vision upward, and the threat of muddy puddles keeping my eyes returning to the ground. In the placid silence of that place, the only sound being the music of flowing water and the crunching of my feet on gravel and snow, I heard my thoughts clearly and vividly.
"Stand in living water, and let the shadows follow."
As I walked upstream, toward the convergence of the Warm River and Henry's Fork of the Snake River, this is the image I saw:
Ahead of me was my shadow. Long, and distorted, the starkness of the black figure looking a little eerie against the white snow. As I looked around, I saw shadows everywhere. The hills, holding the slender trunks of lodge pole pines, appeared like a sheet of striped fabric, thin black shadows creating a woven effect against the white hillside as it lay under the brown and green of the trees. I stood with my cheeks chilled, my back toward the sun.
I stopped, pondered a moment, then turned. I reversed myself, making my feet walk against the flow of footprints and back toward the sun. As I walked, my shadow followed. I looked back and there it was, behind me. Ahead of me was the warmth and brightness of the sun, shimmering against the ripples of living water, warming my face and brightening the path.
I stepped around and over lifeless water, puddled and murky, without motion or clarity.
Ahead of me, standing in the river and caught in the light of the sun, my husband raised his arm to the square. The thin blue line of his fishing rod danced across the water, landing gracefully on the surface of the river.
The water gave way without complaint as he moved through it. It gave him pleasure, and nourishment, and challenge and reward. And it never ceased. It was clear and clean and very much alive. I stood near the bridge and watched him as he fished; looked down at my feet, at the lifeless puddle of muck where even dogs would not drink, and I understood.
I must remember to seek for living water, and keep my face steadily turned toward the giver of light.
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. Revelation 22:1