Thirteenth Brook, Adirondacks, NY
It rises from Thirteenth Lake, its uninspired namesake, and runs through dense woods, until emerging in this little meadow, where she and I meet. This time of year, the vegetation is lush, the ground is over saturated with water, and made the more so by the beaver dams that have backed it up, leaving it nowhere to go but into the banks. I traversed the trunks and limbs of a couple of downed trees, then made my way testing for solid land and hummocks to get to the water's edge. There's not a sound in the riverbed. In its mirror, only the clouds move. If the brook is the voice of the lake, it is made mute by a plug of earth and wood. It is not forever…energy wins in the end. Most waters are dammed, again and again, all the way to the finality of the oceans. Man has learned to hold things back, that letting water run wild is like saying the first thing that comes to mind. There is a reservoir within us, deep with thoughts and emotions. They are fluid, changing, pushing for expression. They spill out in spoken words and written admissions, in a current of love, hate, sadness, and joy. And we erect our own barriers to control the flow, lest the power we unleash wash out all at once, and cause damage, downstream. We hold so much back, maybe because we fear the rebuke of our anger, the dampening of our joy, or the rejection of our love. It is a delicate game, maintaining the pressure of what we leave unsaid. A wedge of light finds a way along the tree line. I let my feelings seep through, a little bit at a time.