Moist Times – The Scent of Water Alone

March 14, 2010

As I sit at my computer here on Sunday – contemplating the week ahead, it is raining. Yesterday the creek started to flow out of its banks and then settled in and stayed at bank full for hours. The new neighbors have small children. It has been awhile since there were little ones on this side of the creek. When we moved in, many of us were childless and now most of us have launched our children out into the world. So it surprised me to hear the sounds of little voices running up and down the creek. When my boy was little, we used to make boats and launch them in the water and chase them downstream. The creek is dry most of the year – but in these moist times, it runs, filled with muddy water, which eventually reaches the Chesapeake Bay and then out into the Atlantic.

I am taking a break from writing – I have been writing all day all week and I am now avoiding those words that must be written to summarize and tie this all together. Instead I have been listening – listening to some of the teaching stories of Mother Night – and looking forward to the Dangerous Old Woman. And here is a taste of what is to come.

The Scent of Water Alone

Wherever the land is dry and hard
you could be the water
or you could be the blade discing the earth open.

Or you could be the acequia,
the ditch that carries water
from river to the fields of flowers.

Or you could be the just engineer
mapping the dams that must be taken down
and those which would serve the venerable all
instead of only the very few.

Or you could be
the battered vessel
for carrying the water by hand.

Or you could be the one who stores the water
the one who protects it
the one who blesses it.

Or you could be the one who pours it
or you could be the tired ground that receives it.
or you could be the scorched seed that drinks it.

Or you could be the vine,
green growing overland
in all your wild audacity.

From Session Four of Mother Night by Clarissa Pinkola Estes


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