On my daily commute to work, I drive alongside a reservoir. On May 15th the county opened it up, in conjunction with the park service, to allow boats on it again, due to the COVID situation. They were all being safe and socially distant. (It’s a big reservoir.)
I noticed the fractal type patterns on the surface of the water caused by boats moving. This is called a wake. It is the region of disturbed flow of the water around the body of the boat.
Some of the wakes were intersecting upon the surface, and although none of the boats were moving, the patterns still remained on the water, and I wondered why and how.
So welcome to the wonderful world of fluid dynamics! In incompressible fluids (liquids) a wake is created as the boat moves through it, and as water cannot be compressed, it must be displaced instead, resulting in the wake wave. As with all wave forms, it spreads outward from the source until its energy is overcome or lost, usually by friction or dispersion. This is done naturally by gravity and surface tension as the restoring forces on the water surface. But it takes time to return to normal, hence the long lasting ripples on the surface for me to behold.
The very first wake, ever, was in Genesis 1:2 when the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters during creation. The Hebrew word used for moved suggests the Holy Spirit fluttered lovingly, with a gentle energy on the water’s surface.
As human beings, our bodies are compromised of approx. 70 to 75% water. That being said, my goal in life is two fold. First, to let the Holy Spirit flutter lovingly using His gentle energy to create long lasting ripples in me. Second, I then want those ripples to go forth creating beautiful patterns in the water of those humans I come into contact with, so that just like during my commute, people will stop, notice, and ask why and how. Isn’t God’s creation wonderful?
Now when you happen to see long lasting ripples on the surface if water, you know why and how and can share that information with others.
Ripple on my friends, Ripple on.
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