Gift from the rain: Dragonfly pond at Little Piney
The rain left a gift for us at Little Piney–a beautiful pond. The pond was carved out by previous owners in a lovely curved shape, but the sandy bottom doesn’t hold water. For now, thanks to record rainfall, it’s full of water and life, no longer just a puddle where the frogs hang out.
Dragonfly Pond brims with clear fresh rainwater . Pines and wildflowers are precisely mirrored on still water and blur Impressionistically when the reflection is ruffled by a breeze. I think of Monet’s lily ponds at Giverny and imagine painting my little pond in the Lost Pines.
Waterbugs ski across the surface trailing a tiny wedged wake. A water snake or a turtle swims by, and a large round fish nest glows in the sand at the shallow edge.
Above the water, purple, blue, orange, and black and white dragonflies swoop and dance and sparkle in the sun. They cast spots of color across the top of the water until they stop and rest, usually on a bare twig. They pose for portraits, and I take a hundred photographs of them.
Five blue eggs await hatching in a nest box by the shore. An anxious bluebird couple monitors my movements.
In just three weeks since the rain, the pond has become a rich and fertile little ecosystem.
The pond is even more precious because it is here just for awhile. A trail of water seeps out of the dam and runs across the drive down to the creek reminding me of it’s temporal life. While it’s here I will cherish it, photograph it, visit it often. When it’s gone I will remember it as it is now, almost perfect. The pond reminds me of other precious times. I remember the baby years with my children, and how I recorded those sweet moments on film and in baby books, knowing how quickly babies grow and change, wanting to hold those moments in my mind and somehow save them. And of the last years of my mother’s life. Each visit felt more dear than the last as her time grew short. And especially the last visit when gratitude for the sweet moments was just as poignant as my grief.
The language of nature
Nature is full of gifts and ripe for metaphor-making. Writers of ancient texts and throughout literary history rely on nature for rich language that speaks to all of us. One of our most beloved contemporary poets is Mary Oliver, who proves that nature metaphors are too rich to ever become cliche or irrelevant. Little Piney offers living metaphors every which way I turn, and provides the solitude and quiet to sit with my thoughts.
One last metaphor. This full pond will disappear, but some day we will be gifted again with days and days of rain, and the pond will fill again. We will remember Dragonfly Pond as it is today, and someday find a pond in it’s place that is equally rich and lovely in it’s own way.