The Wellspring Source

Mount-Rainier-National-Park-20891

by Georgia Wingfield-Hayes

This poem was a piece of writing that came as a stream of consciousness while sitting by a mountain river. I didn’t really understand it until a year later, when in the drought of 2018, here in the lake district, I cleared out an ancient wellspring. Once the sole source of water to the house where I was gardening (the new water source from the stream having dried up), the “Boggin Well” was brought back to life. People knew it was there but no-one in living memory had seen it cleaned out, alive. It was full of stinking anaerobic leaves that had collected there over decades, if you didn’t know it was there, you would be none the wiser. The clearing of the Boggin Well turned out to be quite an extraordinary experience, one that words can’t articulate. It was as if something in me cleared as this wellspring was brought back into being, able to breathe once more. It brought to my mind this piece of writing which at once made sense, and with a few adjustment took the form of this poem.

The reflected light that shows on the log
tells a story of the waters
that flow beneath

but to see into those watery depths
and what they may contain
you must go closer still

You must venture across the fallen trees
to the wellspring source
there where the dipper goes

The reflected light that shows on the log
is so alluring,
yet beautiful enough from here

you could stay here and admire it
from this place
for all eternity

From that place the dipper now comes
the parent
and the noisy, hungry baby

it spends most of its time screaming for food
but then occasionally will just get on
and find some for itself

that tussle of life
dependent
independent

And then the light that shows on the log fades
as the sun continues its course
and you are in danger of forgetting
that wellspring source

Go, drink from your source
everyday
so you don’t forget

Not just so you don’t forget
but so in that drinking
the very waters of your being
are slowly transformed

to be of that source
and that source
alone

The tree that grows its roots
around the rock at the edge of the river
drinks when it pleases him

but he also runs the risk
of flood waters
undermining his feet

So he wraps his root
like tentacles
around those rocks and along the shore
making homes for all those creatures
that inhabit that edge

Go dwell there amongst his roots
Be a creature of the edge
so you may take shelter from him
and drink from her

the wellspring of your life
your source
your soul

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The Boggin Well

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