One thing we learned very early in our research for walking the Camino de Santiago de Composterla - the importance of water - the lack of - the dangers of - the issues to cope with. As with any long day hike or trek - those walking must maintain good hydration. Walkers have to start their trek well hydrated - maintain their hydration - make allowances for the elimination of the same. When walking for six - seven - eight - hours - trekkers must be sure to carry water with them - in water bottles - hydration bladders - readily accessible when needed. We noticed on our walk that it was about fifty-fifty for those who carried water bottles - used hydration systems. We chose the hydration system - a 1.8 liter BIG ZIP Platypus bladder inside our backpacks - coupled to a hose and bite valve - ensuring ready access to free flowing water. We drank enough water daily that we never had to cope with thirst and because we perspired so much - almost never had to find a place to eliminate excess water.
Water is so life giving - it keeps us hydrated - it is cooling in hot weather - it cleanses - refreshes - it literally is a large part of who and what we are. In today's Gospel - Jesus meets the woman at the well and He promises her - living water - water that will nourish so much - she will never thirst. The Gospel today looks forward to the Easter Vigil when the Elect - the catechumens - are baptized - given new life in Christ. The Liturgy - today and the next two weeks - focuses on baptism - reception into the Church - full communion - with those already initiated into God's family. For those of us - already baptized - already full members of Christ's church - we watch and observe these Elect - we celebrate the Gift - which we have already received - joyously waiting for their initiation - for their Lenten Camino to be completed - to reach that point in their lives when they will completely understand - you and I - as we constantly seek a deeper relationship to God - to Jesus - when we say - I Thirst.