A dew pond
A walk I sometime take goes up through woodland to a bare hilltop from where there is a view over the trees right down the valley to the sea in the far distance. Just below the highest point of the hill on the far side of it and beyond the natural turning point is a large round hollow. Sometimes the hollow is dry, at other times it is filled with water. The first time I found it the water was deep and clear with some weed on top. The next time I went, following a prolonged dry spell, the ground of the pool was barely damp, and I was disappointed. That first encounter with the clear water, and the slow, deliberate, circuit I made of the pond, formed a bond with it that I wanted to renew. I thought that a spring might have fed the pond, but this was not the case and being so high up it drained away after it filled. Finding it dry I felt the need to make a gesture to its lost water, so I put a large amount of spit on my fingers and touched them to the dry bed.
The coming and going of water to such places is mysterious. The term 'Dew Pond' often given to them suggests that water condenses into them from the air and evaporates back in the same way. But most must come from rain and slow drainage must explain the initial retention, and eventual disappearance, of the water. But I'll continue to go there for the mystery of it, this place of magically appearing and disappearing water. And I'll bring a blessing when it's dry, and hope to receive one when it's wet, for such things are part of our elemental life.