It was el Dia de San Juan de Bautista, and she had kept the faith.
On this day all the waters of the earth are blessed, the seas, the rivers and the ritos, the clear forest streams, and all the muddy acequias meandering through the fields. So at break of day you must go down to the stream and bathe. Thus you will be immersed in the one living mystery, the waters of life blessed by St John the Baptist, he who baptized the Cristo Himself…
Water is like life. It is life. It permeates everything. The hand of God drops it at birth. It trickles down the snowy peaks, the little streams feed rito and acequia, the great rivers rush down to the sea. And the deep sea too feeds with mist and vapor that great blue lakee of life unseen by us all, to be renewed again and ever.
What is life without water? What is life without faith? So all the waters of the earth are blessed, and all the flesh of the earth is permeated by its flow, and all the earth of the flesh is sanctified by faith.
For faith is not a concept. It is not a form. It is a baptism in the one living mystery of ever-flowing life, and it must be renewed as life itself is renewed.
This is the meaning of any dam, that it would obstruct the free flow of faith which renews and refreshes life and gives it its only meaning. It is self-enclosing. It means stagnation. It means death.
Faith is not dammed. It is not measured and meted out when timely. It must be free to penetrate every cell and germ of the whole. For it is the obstructed whole that finally bursts the dam, brings destruction and misery, swamps the temporal benefits of the past.
There are dams. There will be more. But all are temporal and unwhole. For they, like us, are spattered, swept and undercut by an unseen flow – a flow that is stronger than the casual benefits, that never ceases to permeate and undermine our lesser faiths, and which can never be truly dammed.