Water for billions of years has shaped the Earth --
         pouring down slopes, sculpturing channels, battering headlands,
         filling the deeps with seas, lakes and sediments that have themselves formed land.

Without water, the earth would be sharp and naked as the moon.

In water, life began; in water it evolved, until life on land
                  is integral, essential, to the water cycle.
       Now water, rising under the sun as vapor, forming clouds, drifting as mist,
                  cooled by night into dew and frost, falling as rain, sleet, snow,
       drips into forests and grasses and is breathed back by them into the air,
       sinks down through soil held firm by roots to fill the dark lakes underground,
                   or, sparkling forth as springs, to flow in streams and rivers back into the sea.

NANCY NEWHALL

  [Photograph: Joseph Holmes from Canyons of the Colorado]