You Never Miss the Water ‘Til Your Well Runs Dry

When the sun is struggling to break free from the clouds, hanging like lead balloons over the lake, it’s beautiful. There’s a faint shimmer on the water where the sun is peaking through, spotlighting the waves. It’s another windy day at the top of Seneca Lake.

Place of the stone.

You notice these things when you’re walking in the morning alongside meadow serenades and the occasional trucker on a country road. Corn stalks drying in the fields, waving maniacally in a stiff breeze, remind me of the ocean.

When I get to the top of the hill — the road that strings between lake and town, twisting in on itself forever — I stop to look back. It’s an amazing view. Open. Expansive. Farm houses and barns and silos rising up from fields on the left and right.

When I stop and take this in, I feel for the first time how empty I have been. I needed filling up. My well had run dry. Run low, ran over, run away. I suddenly feel hungry, thirsty.

I feel.

The tumbling down the hill is fast with the pushy headwind now at my back. I could fly down. I could tuck and roll. I pass my Old road and cross the busy highway because I have to get closer to the water before I go inside. I have to fill back up to the rim.

A small blue splotch opens in the the heavy clouds and it’s time for me to go home. Eat. Drink. Write. Clean. Think. Sit.

Because when you’re empty, you have nothing left to give. I make the sweeping statement: I think women are too good at emptying. We draw from our well constantly because we were taught to give and give. Don’t be selfish. Don’t love yourself too much. Don’t boast. Don’t look like you enjoy eating, drinking, sweating. Don’t make yourself the center of attention. Don’t be too loud, too big, too strong, too much. Don’t take what you need; ask. Don’t stand firm; negotiate. Don’t stand out; fit in. Don’t be the squeaky wheel; be quiet and content. This is today, the year 2014. Into the future. Forever and ever emptying.

An empty woman could get carried away with a stiff breeze; a full one stands on top of the hill like a stone, taking up space and weight and requiring heft to move.

But a rock can still roll.

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