Elxir of Life

A different take on a commonplace, yet vastly undervalued resource, water.

H2O, an universal solvent, call it what you may. It occupies a majority of the surface area of the planet; this is why earth looks blue when seen from space. It is the single largest component making up all living beings. It is arguably the most valuable substance required for life to exist and thrive. It is all this, and much more.

Can one praise water enough? It cleanses and purifies, soothes and nourishes. Far from being stiff and stubborn, it is soft and yielding and acquires whatever shape one wants to mould it in. It has a salutary effect on the most torrid of objects which bow down to its cool mien in utter submission. It acts subtly, slowly pervading anything that has been immersed in it. It is steadily overpowering, but never overbearing.

There seems to be no end to water’s virtues, but it does not in way mean that has no dark side. While appearing docile and harmless, it can cause terrible damage when heated and boiled. It can also assume a fearsome aspect in no time, causing untold destruction. Tsunamis, cyclonic rains, rivers in spate, turbulent seas, one is only too familiar with these.

Doesn’t something ring a bell here? If we regard this wonderful resource with a slightly discerning eye, we will appreciate its relevance to our own selves. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we also could imbibe its positive qualities? Water also cautions us that being a do-gooder at all times will carry its own set of problems. It reminds us to stand up and assert ourselves, whenever the need arises. One sometimes has to deal with a firm iron hand in everyday dealings if one wants a positive outcome, just as hot water is more effective in removing stains than cold water.

Thus, water can be both life saver and life giver. It is important to note that it does not act out of fear and favor, and blesses anything that comes its way, even if superficially destructive. If one is patient enough, it will surely reveal its true colors in good time.

It is the kind of presence we all long for and crave in others. Benevolent and awe-inspiring, yet firm and authoritative.

No wonder it is called a life force. No water, no life!

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