Rattlesnakes are only too plentiful everywhere; along the river bottoms, in the broken, hilly ground, and on the prairies and the great desert wastes alike. . . If it can it will get out of the way, and only coils up in its attitude of defence when it believes that it is actually menaced.
May I become at all times, both now and forever: a protector for those without protection; a guide for those who have lost their way; a ship for those with oceans to cross; a bridge for those with rivers to cross; a sanctuary for those in danger; a lamp for those without light; a place of refuge for those who lack shelter; and a servant to all in need.
The fisherman has a harmless, preoccupied look; he is a kind of vagrant, that nothing fears. He blends himself with the trees and the shadows. All his approaches are gentle and indirect. He times himself to the meandering, soliloquizing stream; he addresses himself to it as a lover to his mistress; he woos it and stays with it till he knows its hidden secrets. Where it deepens his purpose deepens; where it is shallow he is indifferent. He knows how to interpret its every glance and dimple; its beauty haunts him for days.
Life processes take place in an aqueous medium. All organisms are composed mostly of water, whether they dwell in the oceans, lakes, and rivers, or on the land. Because the physical and chemical properties of water are well suited to the requirements of life, it is no accident that life is a water-based phenomenon.
There was a feeling, not sudden, but complete, as though I had been given a small object to hold unseen in my hands. Precious as opal, smooth as jade, weighty as a river stone, more fragile than a bird's egg. Infinitely still, live as the root of Creation. Not a gift, but a trust. Fiercely to cherish, softly to guard. The words spoke themselves and disappeared into the groined shadows of the roof.