In her poem, “Mapping the Confluence,” Carol Feiser Laque wrote, “I walk into water stalking / my million-footed self / whose steps test fathoms — gripping / sand, mud, shells, stones / tightly in my slippery toes.”
On the commute, when there are no cars traveling near, I slow down as I go over the bridges and gaze at the horizon limited by the bend in the creeks and streams below. In my mind, I am a painter. I imagine replicating the scene and I know that any attempts to put oil to canvas would fail to adequately show the picture and to describe the myriad of words of poetry I feel. And I dream of shuffling off my shoes and wading through the shallow, cold water below. And I think about how extraordinary the ordinary experience can be. People who have inspired us and yet who we will never meet, have had those same dreams of wading through similar waters.
During March, we celebrate women in history. Women who were extraordinary, and yet, who also did ordinary things, like wading in streams. I think of heroines like Florence Nightingale, Amelia Earhart and Gretta Waitz. And I think of women of today who will become the women in history to be celebrated tomorrow. Jennifer Lopez inspires me to embrace not just one, but all the roles I want to fill. I can be a wife, dog mom, researcher, scholar, novelist, poet, bad fiddler and more. Oprah Winfrey inspires me to chase my dreams unfettered. And Hillary Clinton inspires me to break traditional barriers.
“I map oceans, rains, rivers — / rising, falling, surging in my heart / where Life and Death comingle. / I map the confluence, the rush / through my veins and arteries,” Laque continues. All the things we experience, all the paths of our life’s journey become a part of us. Memories in the making rush through us until they find a place to settle in the shadows of our mind. Vivid images of past experiences become perpetual companions and guide us along the future paths we wander. We will enjoy the lived days ahead just as we have enjoyed the lived days past. We will survive the losses too. And all of these become our stories.
Laque closes her poem with, “My history, my watery map / yields a billion designs / and those patterns flow into / a cartographer’s pen keeping my stories never lost and never found.”
It is true that our stories are never lost, but I think they are found. I’m thinking of the unsung heroines of today, some right here in Pickaway County. I am thinking of women like Dr. Lisa Dubos whose kindness and commitment as a dentist and migraine warrior are unmatched.
And there is Dr. Crystal Hammond whose medical knowledge, compassion and intuition make her the finest of veterinarians and literally a life saver. And I think of JoEllen Jacobs whose dedication is also to dogs. Her work to support the Wright-Poling Pickaway County Dog Shelter is beyond inspiring. These are only three women in Pickaway County who are heroes — and the lives they have touched are immeasurable. The stories innumerable. They are proof that even a woman who dreams about ending migraines, a woman who dreams of ending animal diseases and injuries, and a woman who dreams of one day no dog shelter being needed — these women are to be celebrated today and tomorrow.
Written and submitted by Amy Randall-McSorley for The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.