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flower in the pondGentle ripples across a forest pond, the white foam of ocean surf, the quiet darkness of the deep... such is the stuff of Water. Water seeps, trickles, flows, always accommodating, penetrating. Water represents the mysterious, the profound, a persistent impact, and patience. Water is the supreme adapter. Water can carve deep canyons through solid stone. Water always strives to be calm, to seek out a balanced state, to find a point of harmony in response to the demands of gravity. Water in its purest state is clear on the surface, growing darker as it descends from the light. Water is necessary for our survival. In fact we are composed primarily of water.

Water moderates and is moderated by its opposite--Fire. Water without heat, without fire, is destined to end in ice; too much heat, and it dissipates as steam. Yet, water can moderate fire as well. Cold water tempers and strengthens burning metal. Water is strengthened by its complement--the Sky. The sky lifts water from the ground and distributes it where it can return to earth in the form of rain. Then there is the Moon, a creature of the Sky, with its mysterious and powerful effects on water's tides. The hope and freedom of the sky nurtures the tranquility and enduring features of water.

Water and Parent-child Relationships

water quoteIn parent-child relationships, Water represents such qualities as patience, acceptance, and endurance. Like fire, we are eager to propel our children successfully through childhood. Yet we also need to step back and be patient, to adapt to their needs. One of the greatest struggles all committed parents face is coming to terms with what life has handed them in the shape of the children before them. There are some things about a child a parent cannot change. Our choice is to be like water--to adapt, to accept, flow around, settle with what stands before us. With fire, we may have to confront something in a child that can be changed. With water, we accept and endure what we must.

walking near the waterChildren need water too. Some children are very harsh on themselves, unaccepting and demanding. Though difficult, we have to teach these children the quality of water, the stillness in the face of tension, the adaptation to circumstances, the acceptance of what has to be endured.

Of course, water has its limitations and its risks as well. We'll take a look at the dark side of water on page twol .

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