Coming from San Diego, I was somewhat familiar with the power of dihydrogen monoxide. Back home water regulates the climate and prevents the seasons from fluctuating too hot or too cold and disperses energy from storms. Naturally, I was baffled that a small, Land-locked European town could teach me so much about water.
My first encounter with the majesty of Swiss waters was on the train into Interlaken. Just on the other side of the track was a huge expanse of the peaceful, serene blue-green liquid I am so familiar with. It was clean and reflective, like someone had decorated the center of the town with a large sheet of glass. Later that day, we used some free time to take a rejuvenating, but brief, dip in the peaceful waters of Lake Thun.
The next day was a free day, during which we participated in a multitude of extreme sports. Among those was canyoning. Canyoning is an activity or hobby that involves a combination of floating, climbing, and diving to traverse down a river. It was here that we truly experienced the power of water. The water was flowing fast because it had rained the night before, and nothing I had learned previously about water safety in the ocean applied. The substance I was swimming in was the same as the one I had known for the first 19 years of my life, but the relentless onslaught of water was unique. Energy was no longer transmitted in waves like the ocean, or non existent like the lake, but it rushed with a sense of desperation towards the lake below.
The theme of desperation carried over to Sunday’s hike through the Valley of 72 waterfalls. The water flowed with a fierce determination. There was this sense that nothing could stop it. The water was dead set on finding peace even if it had to carve a hole through a mountain.
Water’s story is very similar to the story of those who believe they have achieved success in their respectful fields. Yet, it is lonely and cold at the top of the mountain. They no longer have the same energy they once had. Occasionally, they begin to thaw and experience glimpses of the passion that drove them to the top, but that feeling fades quickly and they feel paralyzed because they are stuck in a parasitic job that robs joy and leaves them in a cold, frozen state.
Then, the seasons change and a burning desire grows from just a single ember to a strong robust flame. This new passion breaks off their frozen chains and for the first time in years they feel driven towards an end goal. Their energy is now contagious, and they become surrounded by people who are inspired by their passion. Eventually they build up such a presence they become unstoppable in pursuit of their passion. If a mountain stands in their way, they will burrow their way through, one rock at a time. Eventually they reach a place of rest and peace. Waves may come, but the storms eventually subside and everything becomes peaceful again. From the outside, things seem perfect, but very few know about the journey it took to get there.