The Color of Water


Ever wonder about the color of water? Water “…takes on the image of the entire world without ever losing its essential clearness,” whether it is a drop in an ocean, a mountain stream, or a rain puddle. (Mark Nepo).

In any given moment, the color of water is steel-gray, sky-blue, moss-green or dirt-brown for water easily embraces the colors of any obstacle anywhere, as the nature of water is movement, while its essence remains ever clear.

Washing over stones, roaring over a cliff to drop thousands of feet, or raining in torrents, it is the nature of water to take on any landscape for as long as necessary, even eons to fill a desert basin as a great salt lake. The nature of water is transparency for no one color ever stays, and no one outcome is preferred.

Like the nature of water we must “…embrace everything clearly without imposing who we are and without losing who we are” (Mark Nepo). It is the nature of human compassion to take on any event completely, no matter its color, but only for as long as necessary.

The highest good is like water.
Water gives life to the ten thousand
things and does not strive

~Lao Tsu~

It is not so easy for us to take on the color of any experience for our nature is not the nature of water, even if our bodies are more water than tissue and bone.
Obstacle 0413 C

We are concerned with the image we present to the world—it may or may not reflect our true nature—often, it is an image thoughtfully prepared so it is somewhat opaque, designed to reflect certain colors in certain situations. It is how we survive in the larger current of human nature.

It is easier to remain within the current of human nature, whether or not that is who we actually are, for we are not water changing the landscape, unaffected by changes, yet the nature of water is a compassionate one.

The nature of water, its constancy to the flow that is all life—regardless of change–reveals we are more than any image we reflect or action that we take. In each moment there is the opportunity not to strive but to seek the essence of our heart, the source of our compassion.

Unlike the nature of water, we are not always aware or completely present in our lives. We are not free from extraordinary or ordinary obstacles but the color of water teaches us not to stay the color of those obstacles but ultimately, to run true and clear to who we are in the current of human nature.

Beneath the clouds, water desires only to flow, and beneath our tensions and problems, the human spirit wants only to embrace and soften” (Mark Nepo).

Perhaps the color of water is compassion reflecting as the colors of the day.