August 21 was a good day when millions of Americans stopped business (and political arguments) as usual to connect with nature. It’s been 99 years since the last total eclipse washed America coast-to-coast. People waxed rhapsodic – some saying it was “Life Changing” – as the celestial phenomenon raced across the skies.

Poet’s Day

Coincidentally, the total solar eclipse landed on Poet’s Day. And in honor of the sun and the moon, we’d like to share this poem Water Ways.  It’s just one of many award-winning poems by Jamie K. Reaser (who is also Executive Director at the US National Invasive Species Council). We met Jamie at the Blue Mind V Summit when she presented some of her water-inspired writing that indeed, blue our minds!

path of totality eclipse 2017
Photo courtesy

Water Ways

I took form in this aqueous place, this place of 
tentative buoyancy,  in this life, decades ago, in 
other lives, perhaps, long since, in ways that I 
cannot understand but some part of me
recalls as belonging.


As a child, I meandered in brooks, turning over 
rocks for crayfish and salamanders, salamanders 
that still had gills, indicating that they were still 
young in the way that we are still young.


And, in the summers, I went to the beach, where 
waves taught me how to take hold and how to let go, 
and where I learned that I am ruled by the moon at 
least as much as the sun and other stars.


Have you ever noticed how the moon has chosen 
water to hold her reflection, only water?


I am not a fish, but I have looked into the eyes of fish, 
many. I am not a whale, but I have looked into the eyes 
of whales, a few, and each time I find myself there. Other 
orbs too. Like blue marbles that sparkle iridescent in the 
sunlight and in the gleaming of those who hold them 
between thumb and forefinger.


Have you ever noticed that when you walk up to a fountain 
with pennies in your pocket in a grand city or some out of 
the way little town that your heart beats differently than it 
did the moment before you stepped onto the bricks, or 
cobblestones, or asphalt that led you there?


Rain. A metal roof. That’s enough.


I have had relationships with puddles that are deeper than
with those who have called themselves family, some who
have called themselves friends.


You? When was the last time you jumped in one?


What was the point of this story?


It had something to do with water, how in water you can
drift back and away, and how despite – but I believe because of –
this drifting, this floating, this letting go of some proverbial
shoreline, you can come back from some place remembering
every thing, everything, that is essentially you.


About the Author

Jamie is a globally-recognized expert on invasive species, as well as a wide range of other environmental and sustainable development issues. She has worked in more than fifty countries as an ecologist, environmental negotiator, professional communications and leadership development trainer, and programmatic analyst.   Just recently Jamie was at the National Academy of Sciences – advising NASA scientists, including the NASA Planetary Protection Officer, on how to reduce the risk of moving harmful organisms between planets.  Jamie is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers, and her poetry  explores the inter-relatedness of Nature and human nature.  Jamie is seriously awesome on so many levels. Subscribe to her blog Talking Waters.

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