There are those who use a river as a metaphor for life. If you stand in a river (just once) the past is what has flowed by you and even if you hop out on the bank and dash really quickly downstream you cannot have the same moment over. Meanwhile who knows what the river just upstream, around the bend and out of sight is going to throw at you.
Something good I hope, that is why I keep returning to the river.
I am on a small sandy beach and I am running through my little yoga routine. In common with swimming when you are doing yoga you cannot be doing anything else, this is why I never have time to do yoga at home, I am by nature a busy idiot. In common with swimming the idea is to also push aside for a moment all the mundane thoughts and give way to more inspirational ideas. Why is it then that I am standing here, looking like an arse (it is no coincidence that I am far, far away from anyone who might be watching), wondering what is just around the bend in the river and reflecting on what the river has carried past me thus far. Both meta and physically.
I read an item recently that contained the line “ultimately everything in your life is brought to you by others”. That however sounds like an excuse to say ‘no matter what I do everything will turn out the same, so I choose to do nothing’. That cannot be so. If I stand here in the river things are quite exciting, but I could choose to stand over there where the water would only be around my ankles, well that doesn’t sound like fun. Or over there where the water is deeper and would be over my head; fun, but only in sorts bursts. The scenery would however remain about the same. Or, I could go up around the bend of the river, terra incognita (aqua incognita?), where it says on the map ‘here there be dragons’. That sounds exciting, but will the dragons be friendly? All the anecdotes suggest that is unlikely to be the case and first hand survivors reports are few.
I have stood in this bit of river more than twice as it is always a peaceful place to swim; there are no dragons.
The Dart flows over a shallow pebble bed until it reaches the top of the pool where there are slabs of dark grey slate to serve as steps down to the water. The pool immediately deepens where the confluence of the waters with the Webburn has cut an ‘S’ channel in the bed of the pool. The water of the Dart is cold enough, but the water of the Webburn is always a few degrees cooler and today means it should be frozen over. Instead it jumps and splashes beneath the bridge, whilst the trees overhead glow with early morning sunshine and still a thin mist hangs in the air.
And the water is copper blue.
Dried and packed away I could spend a while longer sat in the sunshine but the busy idiot in me is getting jittery again. I eek the moment out a little longer by bundling up some dry sticks off the bank, it may be warm now but I suspect there will be frost again tonight and we’ll be lighting the fire.