Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Required Loopy Post

I did the apartment-to-Falls-Bridge loop today, which is about 13.5 miles and at least 1250 calories. I've done this walk several times this year, and each time, about 10 miles into the trip, I ask myself, "Dude, you're closing in on forty; why are you doing this?" A few months later, I'm back out there, a bit older but no wiser.

Anyway, whilst passing the waterworks on the mighty Schuylkill, I did what every passerby does: I watched the waterfall. I think there's some natural connection humans have with water, and not just because we die if we don't have it. As an atheist, I don't buy into gods, demons, angels, or any of that stuff, which always smacks me as a bit superstitious. However, I do believe that the universe has a certain harmony and order, and that everything within that universe is a kind of fractal, a small thing in which you can see the large. I think that some things more closely reflect the nature of the universe, and water is among them. Why? Because water is mostly passive, but stronger than steel when it needs to be. It flows along any course, yet in time carves new channels even in stone. It's part of everything, and nothing we know of can survive apart from it. It can be solid, liquid or gaseous, but in any form it's breathtaking. Water really is the universe writ small.

(Hot chocolate made solely from water is substandard, however; for real quality you have to use milk. That's one thing water can't do.)

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