וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָרָקִיעַ וַיַּבְדֵּל בֵּין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מִתַּחַת לָרָקִיעַ וּבֵיןהַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מֵעַל לָרָקִיעַ וַֽיְהִי־כֵֽן׃

“And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so.”

This morning on my hike at the lake was early and crisp. All the wildlife bustled about busy to start (or end) their day. A soft misty fog hovered about in places and the symmetry of the lake view from the willow tree was striking. I immediately thought of the Hebrew word (I am learning) שָׁמָיִם. Shamayim: heavens, sky. The word for water is מַיִם.

Walking in the woods with the subtle quietness is one of my great delights. Since I was a child, I would escape to the wildness of nature where the cares of this world would grow dim in the light of this glorious creation.
I appreciate the honesty of the wild; there is little deception in the created order of the woods and water. There is, of course, a measure of harshness, of brutality perhaps but few lies.

Over the past year, I have seldom missed a week at the lake. Either kayaking, hiking or just sitting on the overlook benches. I’ve watched the young of last year be born and grow to the young of this year following their parents in the wilderness. Snow, rain, flowers and floods have worked their way through this oasis. The world of nature alters its course independent of the human systems.

It has been very good for me to peek in on this world from time to time. Perhaps hiking or kayaking is boring, but, each day I seek to see it with new eyes and fresh wonder. Though I want to know and to learn endlessly, I enjoy the mystery of my walks (or kayaking). I know many of the plants and flowers but not all, and the discovery of a new (to me) bud or bloom is a silent delight one can only personally experience.

Anyway – this photo truly illustrates the connection of “mayim” and “shamayim” – waters and above the waters today. May you be blessed as you walk along the way.