We Are Water Striders

by Donna Vatnick

1010687_10151745248221789_1392168913_nWater saturates the soil, balms the sky, fills the seas, and swirls between our fingers as we wash our hands before meals. This perfect transparence, a beautiful reflection of the world around us, exists in water.

The most striking image I remember from high school biology is that of a water strider resting on top of water, being held by surface tension. This insect’s body is specially designed to be able to walk on water. Their legs, which are very strong but distribute body weight, have components that repel water, keeping them above it. Then I started to realize that water, a beautiful treasure unique in its abundance on Earth, is more than just what we boil spaghetti in and what we spray our plants with. It is special and sacred in that it is what makes up our cells, our minds, our planet, and therefore, our souls.

450px-Amenbo_06f5520sxFrom the believed first civilization of Mesopotamia, the land between rivers, to the thousands of ports and cities that exist today, humans have followed water because it has brought us nourishment, communication, ambition, and creativity. As the water flows in us, we flow in it, following its routes and seeking out endless horizons of opportunity. In a way, we are designed in our souls to be like water striders. Water sustains us, holds us above itself, as we glide neither below nor above it. We learn to balance our spirit and body on the strength of flexibility; we trust that our hearts will keep us walking, and the water won’t let us fall.

Donna Vatnick is studying Biology at Brandeis University. In her free time, she likes to swim, play music, and enjoy the beauty of the world!


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