You in Me and I in You – Reflections on Living Water


Reflections on Living Water

by John Holliger

“Living Water” in Greek is sparkling, bubbling water; leaping, jumping water; kissing, blessing everything.

My first memory of living water is as a small boy, exploring the huge, soft shouldered boulders of the Little Pigeon River in Newfound Gap of the Smoky Mountains. I experienced newfound freedom as I rock-hopped from boulder to boulder. I crouched down between rocks to touch the bubbles of tiny waterfalls and listen to their songs. My hands stroked the clear water flowing over curving stone shapes. Swirling water sang with quiet confidence. I caressed the soft, wet, green mosses on shaded boulders. Standing like a giant I took huge boy strides in slow motion onto the next boulder. I jumped like an Olympic star onto a wet mossy boulder and careened feet first into the pool below, falling hands-forward soaked, frightened, and excited for more. Out of breath I listened to different songs arising everywhere around me.

Oh the freedom to hide from my mom behind the next boulder and the next boulder and the next. The singing water filled our hearts and ears. I could not hear my mom calling me. I had a logical explanation for not returning when she willed. “Sorry, I couldn’t hear you.”

Years later I had such fun showing my daughters the joy of rock-hopping. We were Olympic gymnasts slipping off the high beam onto wet mossy boulders below, laughing, excited to be wet and free and alive.

All my life I have journeyed up the chanting river of life to find the Source. Such bliss of searching for that One who is just around the next boulder… and find that One already flowing freely within me. You in me and I in you.

About the Artist: “At the age of twelve, I began taking photographs with my father’s Speed Graflex 4 x 5 large format camera. My dad taught me black and white photo development and dye transfer color printing in our basement dark room. As a teen-ager, I learned how to use a Hasselblad medium format camera, a Rollei twin lens, and the Leica 35mm SLR equipment. I traveled with my dad to botanical and bryological association meetings around the country and hiked with botanists to remote locations. We brought specimens home in order to do microphotography in our basement onto positives and negatives — developing the negatives by dye transfer into 11 x 16 prints. This experience was the inspiration for a life long love of photographing unassuming wonders of nature in out-of-the-way places.” John Holliger See more of his work at

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