Where the Water Meets the Land

This song was inspired by my late husband who, while dealing with stage IV cancer once said to me, “I take strength and inspiration from places where the water meets the land.” For over 14 years, he collected quotes and poems in a journal, so that he could have them close and read them to remind himself how to live well. Toward the end of his life, when he grew weak and tired, he asked me to read aloud to him from the book to give him strength. 

So, in November, 2013, a few months after his death, when I hit a low point in my grief and wondered how to continue moving forward with my life, I turned to his journal. And I remembered what he said about places where the water meets the land, and I got the idea to write this song. I sat down with my guitar and a melody and the journal next to me on the couch and I flipped through it, using what caught my eye, paraphrasing to fit the rhythm and rhyme of the song. So I give credit to my late husband, Scott R. Jaeger, and to all those whose wisdom he gathered into that journal. I feel grateful for their words and for the loving, compassionate way he had of being in this world. May this song bring comfort to all who hear it. We will find the strength to stand. 

Where the Water Meets the Land
© 2013 Kaia Fowler

I met a man where the water meets the land
and the sky turns indigo.
He looked into me,
his gaze like the sea,
smooth and still along the sand.

Where the water meets the land,
he found the strength to stand,
living life with open hands,
traveling without plans
to where the water meets the land.

Blessed is the man who has grown beyond his greed,
and become part of the whole,
not ever being sure,
just learning to live pure,
to feel and taste and hear and see.

Where the water meets the land,
he found the strength to stand,
living life with open hands,
traveling without plans
to where the water meets the land.

So with a quiet mind, regard the fleeting world like this,
like the stars fading at dawn,
like bubbles on a stream.
Be present now; life’s like a dream.
We can’t recapture what we miss.

Where the water meets the land,
we will find the strength to stand,
living life with open hands,
traveling without plans
to where the water meets the land.

The words of wisdom that inspired the song lyrics are below. 

A Good Traveler
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving. A good artist lets his intuition lead him wherever it wants. A good scientist has freed himself of concepts and keeps his mind open to what is.” ~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“Blessed are the man and woman
who have grown beyond their greed
and have put an end to their hatred
and no longer nourish illusions.
But they delight in the way things are
and keep their hearts open, day and night.
They are like trees planted near flowing rivers,
which bear fruit when they are ready.
Their leaves will not fall or wither/
Everything they do will succeed.”
~ Psalm One, translated by Stephen Mitchell

“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” ~Agnes de Mille

“The radiant Buddha said:
Regard this fleeting world like this:
Like stars fading and vanishing at dawn,
Like bubbles on a fast moving stream, 
Like morning dewdrops evaporating on blades of grass,
Like a candle flickering in a strong wind,
Echoes, mirages, and phantoms, hallucinations and like a dream.” 
~ from Eight Similes of Illusion from the Prajna Paramita Sutras

“The most precious gift you can give to the one you love if your true presence. What must we do to really be there? Those who have practiced Buddhist meditation know that meditating is above all being present: to yourself, to those you love, to life.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“The meditative mind is silent. It is beyond thought. . . the meditative ind is the religious mind – the mind that is not touched by the church, the temples or by chants . . . .  Meditation is not a means to an end. It is both the means and the end.” ~ J. Krishnamurt, Meditations

“Remember the clear light, the pure clear white light from which everything in the universe comes, to which everything in the universe returns; the original nature of your own mind, the natural state of the universe unmanifest. Let go into the clear light, trust it, merge with it. It is your own true nature. It is home.” ~ Tibetan Book of the Dead