Asking the River

Sometimes I get bone tired - all the busyness of family life, work, emails, domestic chores, workshops, the bureaucracy of being alive - tax returns and bill payments, until I feel empty and completely drained of energy.

But then there are all the things I want to write, or - just like now - something I've been commissioned to do, and not a single word makes it out of the desert my mind has become.

Looking across the river towards the Mill. It's a big river!
When this happens (and this is going to sound fey and ridiculous) I go out and ask the river. The river is a giant, magical beast that lives at the bottom of the garden and provides the backing track for my life.  I go and sit on the river bank, listening to it, watching it, feeling the vibration of it thundering over the weir, feeling it flow through me.  It's not long before all the stress has evaporated and I'm relaxed and almost in some kind of dreamlike mental state.  Then words begin to surface, ideas, sometimes whole sentences.

Tonight there was a heron shrieking at a rival, and a breeze rattling the leaves of the alder, and swishing in the willows. I like to think that this river has seen Neolithic people wading across the ford, Romans, Vikings, Anglo Saxons, even Scots marauders, long before we were here - but then perhaps I've got too much romantic imagination!

A heron in the mist
It's a wise old river this one.  It knows a thing or too, always comes up with something when I ask.


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