I was visiting a mountain on the Pacific coast where there were lots of waterfalls. Brandon (pictured) likes to say we were "chasing waterfalls." For me, it was a great time to reflect. Being there gave me some perspective on life.
I was trying to imagine what it would be like to be a water molecule - just single H2O surrounded by millions, if not billions of other H2Os. I imagined thinking...
Almost all of us were snow at the top of the mountain. As we melted, there were countless paths to take. Some stay as snow for a long, long time. Some find hidden underground paths that few molecules pass through. Many join together to create wonderful waterfalls that draw tourists like damp logs attract insects. Some started down the mountain but got stalled in little pools. Others take a trip through a bear's digestive system. Those who keep going down the mountain end up in the river at the bottom of the mountain. Then, many follow the river to the ocean.
All along these countless paths, molecules evaporate and form clouds. Then, because we're in the Pacific, we typically don't travel very far before turning into snow or rain to fall down on the mountain again. Each time we take a different path never knowing quite where we're headed. We can only see so far ahead of us. Plus, we're pushed along by forces beyond our control or influence. We just go through this cycle over and over again.
This was quite some perspective on our lives as humans. We may not be as numerous at H2O molecules on the side of a mountain in the Pacific Northwest but we have quite a few things in common. We take countless paths. We something get stalled or just seem to go in circles. We are pushed here and there by outside forces. For the water, it's natural forces like gravity, wind, and temperature. For us, it's forces like family, our physical bodies, and social responsibilities.
How meaningless it can all seem and yet how essential to the planet's survival and thriving. What looks on the surface to be haphazard and pointless, can also be construed as purposeful and planned. On one hand, a single water molecule doesn't amount to anything in the world. On the other hand, a single water molecule has value beyond our understanding. The same could be said of our own lives too.
Wherever you are today - on the side of a mountain, deep in a valley, or hidden underground - I hope you find peace in living in the balance between haphazard and value beyond understanding.