Tuesday, January 22, 2013

We Are All Bodies of Water

We are all bodies of water, guarding the mystery of our depths . . . 
—Deborah Smith, Alice at Heart
So am I lake, river, ocean? Or perhaps a fountain, in a curving basin?
What depths are in me, what mysteries there?

I’d like to be the water at the feet of our Saint Francis, standing patiently at the back of the garden, where towhees splash with great avian joy.

I’d like to be the long trough of spring water in that hilltown in Crete, with many spouting lion’s mouths, where village women come to drink, to fill pitchers.

I’d like to be the dappled swimming hole in a green creek under willows, water birch, or other lissome trees, where summer days are passed and life is carefully holding its breath, not sure where it will come out, come fall.

I’d like to be a Lake like Como, with hazy blue distances in me; or Maggiore, which the characters of a famous old novel row up to escape their fate.

I’d like to be a sea with a blue sheen on its surface and ancient shipwrecks in its depths, where all of human history can be read by those willing to inquire.  Where coins with heads of goddesses and owls, and resin-sealed amphorae wait through murky centuries to be discovered one fortunate day after a breakfast of yogurt and walnuts and honey scented with mountain thyme.

I’d like to be a tin cupful of water, even half a cup, given to the thirsty.

image:  Thyme and Again