I grew up in fairly rural New England. I was surounded my whole childhood by water; rivers, lakes, ponds, streams and all the wildlife that happened to call the water their home. I have always identified strongly with the element of water and the vast metaphors to be seen within its nature. As a kid, one of my favorite things to observe along the shores of the river I grew up on was the water bug. Jesus bugs as I would call them as a kid due to their natural ability to perform the miraculous. These little guys could literally WALK on water. How cool is that? Especially in the wide eyed viewscape of a child!
Today, I am now 25 years old and find myself sitting along the sideline of a lake outside Austin, TX with my eyes, for the first time in a long time catching sight of a waterbug skirting along the top of the water. I see the waterbug as the same miraculous creature I did back when I was a child—but this time my mind can’t help but find beauty in the amazing display of trust the waterbug has in itself as it doubtfully and gracefully glides across the top of the water with ease. I think to myself how diffiult of a feat its been throughout my own life to simply just trust in myself and smile at the organicness of the waterbugs ability to do just that. I think to myself that there is so much to learn about life by just observing creatures of nature simply exist within their evniornment and today my lesson comes from the observation of the waterbug.
First off, a waterbug certainly isn’t the cutest of bugs. I mean, really—if one of these little guys were crawling around through my bed in the middle of the night with its long skinny legs and tall fragile body the last thing I’d find myself wanting to do is snuggle up close to to it or tickle it’s little belly. It’s not the kind of bug that kids go around trying to capture in jars full of grass to keep around for viewing pleasure like a lightning bug or lady bug. (I am not condoing bug jailing—but you understand where I am going) However, the waterbug, regardless of human based asethic coding is made PERFECTLY designed in order to walk on water.
The way in which a waterbug is able to walk on water is pretty cool when you break it down. Basically, water molocules are polarized. This means the atoms that make up water are charged both (+) and (-). Basic mathamatics teaches us that opposites attract and so in this polar make up of the structure of water there is a born strength and high surface tension. Essentially, water is bound together through a natural state of yin and yang. Now, the waterbug uses a simple act of flexibility and balance to master their most grand of acts. They are provided through birth with hundred of little tiny hairs upon their long legs that are essentially able work like buoyus and keep the bugs “grounded” along the surface of water. This makeup along with the bugs ability to shift their balance to adapt to the everchanging ebb and flow of the water is really all there is to their magic trick. In essense, the waterbug is natures natural yogi! What a fountain of wisdom there is exploding from organic nature of the waterbug! A lot is to be learned from these little guys if you really look and maybe that is something I subconciously recgonized as a child as I could spend hours simply just watching them walk.
Throughout my life, I have met a few people like the water bug. The type of people that seem to walk through life with a simple and admirable grace that literally just feel like a pleasure to watch exist. After careful obersvaion and a lot of convesation I think we too can live a life like these people. If we simply learn to live like the water bug—we too can master the art of walking on water (at least metaphorically, for now)
The world, when broken down is polarized much like water. There is yin and yang, light and dark, positive and negative and although we are adept to ascribing this polarity into the categories of “good” or “bad” I argue it’s not quite that simple. (+) and (-) are interdependent in their nature, they rely on one another. They find strenth in their connection whether on a micro level of physics or on a macro level of simply being challeneged and overcoming. In order to gracefully navigate our way through this polarized world we must first fearlessly accept the polarity around us. We must accept the yin and the yang of being a human on this earth if we want to exist with ease on this plane. This has proven to be a challenge throughout my life as often times I like to reject the bad and hang onto the good. However, this does nothing for our balance and it displays nothing but a lack of trust in ourselves!
Much like the waterbug and it’s gift of its tiny hairy legs—we too much trust in our organic abilities. We are divine in our makeup and created with all the natrural tools we need to walk effortlessly through this world of shifting polarity. Though our egos make us feel apart from “nature” we must remember that our DNA is very much A PART of it. When we start trusting in ourselves and lose fear, we in turn lose doubt. Nothing in the natural world doubts its divine nature, that is total ego, total human stuff. If the waterbug doubted its ability to talk on water—there would be nothing special about it! Like the waterbug, we must conciously start trusting in our ability to walk through this world until that concious choice disolves all fear and we can unconciously learn to simply be.
It’s not just the legs of these bugs that give them their special powers. Just as it is not just soley our divine nature that enables us to live wholehearted lives. Everything takes a little bit of work on our part. Remember, the waterbug is a master of flexibility and balance as well. Waterbugs are amazing at shifting their weight to the state of their envionment in order to attain balance. Let me repeat that: shifting their weight to the state of their envionment in order to attain balance. That my friends is the key! That, my friends is a yoga in itself. Much like the flow of water, the world is unpredictable—ebbing and flowing, seemingly carrying us along for the ride. What the waterbug has chosen to do is exist as an extremity to its envionment; much like an arm or leg on a whole body. Picture the flower of life: we are all one flowing organism no matter how separate we feel. We must stop trying to control the movements of our envionments, of the “water” in our lives, and instead learn how to master the art of shifting our metaphorical weight to attain balance above it. We must learn to walk on water! The waterbug has no concern with where the ripples of the pond have been nor where they are going. The waterbug simply just listens to its body and acts with balance and flexibility- never afraid to shift its weight.
When you really break it down, there isn’t actually anything hyper special about the waterbug. It relys on trust, balance, flexibility, and flowing as a part of its envionment rather than separate from it. All in all, there is a lot to be learned from these little Jesus bugs and the mastery of their craft they have so effortlessly perfected. Maybe if we learn to follow their lead—we too can master the art of walking on water. It might be easier than we think.