In a recent dream I had, this question about water was asked to me. There was no voice or person seen in the dream, just the question:
photo I took July 2018
summer following the publication of my book Moonflower
Which bodies of water are your favorite?
While still dreaming, I immediately recalled my focus on ponds over the years. When I lived in Brooklyn, I didn’t see many different bodies of water, so the one I really remember seeing very closely was a pond.
There was a lily pond with lotus flowers at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden that I loved. I still like ponds, especially with lotus flowers, but I realized I like only well-maintained ones, and then after that, I thought, there are other bodies of water to reflect upon.
After ponds, lakes came to mind. I realized then I didn’t know the exact difference between a lake and a pond and decided to look it up online later on after I woke up. In the past I never really looked up much about the environment because I was afraid it would ruin my imagination. But it hasn’t. So I discovered it isn’t just the difference in size, but lakes are often bluer because they are deeper, so there is less of a chance of a lot or too many plants growing within them.
Yes, there is a such thing to me as too much green, something I realized when I thought I only like well-maintained ponds.
And then rivers came to mind. I don’t know if I have seen one yet. This spring my eyes were opened and I was seeing the world as though these were my first days on earth but as an adult. I spotted what looked liked a river or stream off in the distance near my apartment but now that the trees are bare, I see my dreamy perspective was off—it is actually a collection of rain water on dead leaves and not flowing like a river or stream. I did find this funny when I noticed and wasn’t disappointed. 🙂
Then came bays, seas, and the ocean. Summers at Mattapoisett, MA, often windy, I’ve stepped into bay water—it is calm, usually warm, and shallow. This past summer I did my first solitary yoga session where bay water met sand in warm sunlight. I learn now seas are smaller than oceans and usually form where land and ocean meet.
The ocean. As a child I enjoyed collecting seashells alongside it. I had written a little about that in the post, A Plate That Holds Half A Ring. In the recent years that I’d been gradually feeling less, I have become aware I had been hiding from the ocean then even when I was standing in it or taking a rare photo of it—and the image I chose for the cover of Moonflower contains a glimpse of the ocean.
And then the next body of water I thought of was a waterfall, but there wasn’t much to say about that at the time.
I still appreciate ponds, although I am disappointed if I see a murky one and no orange-colored fish.
Forget swamps and marshes for now. (I have a story about a marsh in Brooklyn for another time.)
Although it’s not summertime, I’ve been exploring the ocean in a poem I was writing today as lately I’ve been writing poems for the next book. So that was a good dream question.