AS A PHYSICAL PHENOMENON
What could be more innocent
than a pearl of dew ?
Everybody knows dew.
It appears in the early morning, when the sun has barely risen. Dew covers
grass and leaves with diaphanous silver droplets. Fragile enough, that a
single sunbeam is enough to volatilize it. But so
firmly hung to a blade of grass or a petal of flower. Pure as a diamond, and yet
so fragile! The alchemists were not mistaken, when they made dew one of the main ingredients
for the elaboration of the
Philosophic Stone. Its transparency has to be collected in the early morning (but can
one collect it
differently?), unrolling a dry
linen on grass and foliage to gather the droplets of dew. After
the pure water is collected for the "Great Work".
Dew has, it seems, others virtues. In the Ukraine, folk tradition claimed that women could enhance their beauty by soaking
themselves in dew water. Others believed that dew could cure skin diseases. And many
other positive attributes have been credited to dew.
Dew, the inspiration source of arts and letters, is also present in
different religions. In the Bible, the Writings employ the word
dew in the figurative sense, to indicate all things that without noise, and even in an invisible way, brings
refreshment and blessing, like the dew for the vegetation...
In Ecclesiastes, the writer wants to remember only the
transience associated with dew, and assimilates it
with vanity and inanity of all things: literal significance of the famous words where
Ecclesiastes deplore the void and
nothingness of things:
" vanity of vanities, and all is vanity" - it is literally in Hebrew: "Dew, dew, and all is
nothing but dew?"