Safe Harbor

Safe Harbor

Water.
So simple.
Un-spectacular and unpretentious.
Yet so powerful.
It gives life – literally – to the earth and its inhabitants.
It is the amniotic fluid, our pre-birth state.
As we go through life, it is our cleansing friend.

It is also uniquely tranquil.
The sound of rain is the tonality which people most prefer  as a sleeping aid (according to a Google search):
Whether it's a rustling brook, or a majestic fountain; water creates a personal island of serenity.

Water is so basic.
So pure.
It’s so natural. Yet somehow beyond nature.
In Torah, immersion in a pool of water – known as the Mikvah – is the 'conductor' which guides us from one spiritual stage to the next.
The High Priest in the Holy Temple would immerse himself in a Mikvah between one stage of the Yom Kippur service and the next [successively higher] one.

Women immerse themselves as part of their journey through life's cycles.
Men regularly use the Mikvah as part of a 'rebirthing' process; shedding one level of personality as they aim for a higher one.
Perhaps conversion is the most obvious transition, when the Mikvah-waters usher an individual and his/her new identity into full blossom.

But why does water also serve as a metaphor for life's difficulties?
Why do we speak – even Scripturally – of the 'rushing waters' which threaten to extinguish my flickering flame of hope, or the ferocious tide which threatens to knock me off balance?

How do I reconcile the Mikvah’s serenity with the stuff of Noah's flood?
But maybe that's just it.
The babbling brook tranquility is precious; but it's also easy.
Life is about facing the raging tide; there’s no other way to access my life’s potential.

I just need to prepare myself.

When I am emotionally and spiritually cocooned, when I've found internal fortitude and focus, when I'm anchored to firm principles and vision….I can face the rushing waters.

So my contemplative prayer and study is my protective boat, my personal Ark.
I need that Ark every day;

When I’m protected, the 'waters' can't drown me; they'll only lift me higher.

Welcome aboard.


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