The River
 
In the same way that these vast fault lines bring us near, so too do open horizons on the gaze of our souls.


 It’s my 25th year in this place. This little river runs through a

geological non-conformity that shows a massive event when hardly any

life existed.


   Today the beck has bright green moss-covered rocks

and trees arching over it. I don’t often come here - the chasm of my

childhood memories. It’s like opening up a lens, walking along the

ridged edges that are slowly slipping down. I remember the exact path I

used to walk in my head to get down to my rock, and the route I would

then take past the nettles, the little joining stream, and on to the

“bath” and waterfall. Owls used to live in the big ash tree on the

opposite side. We showed my uncle the white fluffy owlets one year,

which later returned in a dream in a Berkshire Barn. One of the happiest

dreams. Things have a habit of returning in a different guise. Here I

am replaying the games we used to enact; painting our faces with the

orange clay, pretending to be lost children. Catching bullheads. Duck

races. Sausage sizzles. We got so much from one small stretch of water.


  

Its form has changed over the years; a torrential rain storm upturned

the boulders, creating narrower, deeper grooves. It seems quite certain

though, its energy pouring into the gulleys of my memory. I begin to

notice new exposed tree roots in the damp clay walls, when I feel the

shifting of my restlessness against the purposeful gushing of the water,

and I turn my head up back towards the house. It used to feel so far. I

return my gaze. I listen. The brightness of the moss in the silvery

winter light imprints itself like a fissure between past and present.

Upon the surface everything has changed, but I expect underneath, deep

down in the river bed, things are the same.