A glacier is a large, slow moving river of ice, formed from compacted layers of snow, that slowly deforms and flows in response to gravity. Glacier ice is the largest reservoir of fresh water on Earth, and second only to oceans as the largest reservoir of total water. Glaciers cover vast areas of polar regions but are restricted to the highest mountains in the tropics. Elsewhere in the solar system, the vast polar ice caps of Mars rival those of the Earth.
From a Unification perspective, one can make several points:
- Glaciers are carriers of freshwater. In addition, they carve the land, move rocks and soil, and create fertile plains. Thus they serve humanity and other living organisms in practical ways.
- Scientific studies of glaciers help us understand some of the processes going on in nature. Thus, our knowledge of the natural world is expanded. These efforts indicate our desire to understand and harmonize with God's creation.
- These studies are manifestations of our intelligence and creativity—attributes that are linked to our spiritual dimension. These attributes are reflective of God's intelligence and creativity.
- Even as glaciers serve humanity, they provide us with an internal guiding principle: to live for the sake of others. By so doing, we transcend the level of mere survival and travel the path toward inheriting God's nature. Eventually, we can vibrate with God's spirit and become channels for God's love to flow through us to others and to the rest of creation. In this manner, we can fulfill what the Unification principle calls the "Three Great Blessings" and establish a world of peace and harmony.