The woman in whose memory this window was commissioned enjoyed the seashore and shells. That imagery aligns with her gifts as a creative, motherly woman, for water is associated with the feminine creative principle. The sea evokes infinity, the source of life and its goal, the "mother" of whom we are born and to whom we return in death.
Sea and shore are portrayed by wave lines and outlines of shells as well as by color and texture. A conch (filling most of the upper lite) is spiral-shaped and thus associated with the soul's circling until it returns to God. A nautilus (superimposed over the conch and set off on its right side by streaky opalescent glass) has a counter-clockwise spiral representing the creative breath of the Spirit. A scallop shell (lower lite, accented by opalescent glass) is a Christian symbol for baptism and pilgrimage.
In Scripture, the prophet Ezekiel (47:1-12) describes his vision of spring of water flowing from the temple with such abundance that it becomes a river, even as God's blessings flow copiously. The strongest inspiration for the window is Christ's promise that "(N)o one who drinks the water that I shall give . . . will ever be thirsty again: the water that I shall give . . . will become . . . a spring of water, welling up for eternal life" (Jn 4:13-14).
The window is made of German mouth-blown glass, which glows with color during the day, and Pennsylvania hand-poured opalescent glass, which reflects light at night. Together they obscure a drab brick wall. … Read more Read less