• Alex

Rivers, Kingfishers, Webs and Connection


Today I went walking again. Struggling with making meaning and feeling overwhelmed. I took my trusty pal the whippet and we walked over to the other side of town and along beside the river. Two people, one child were fly fishing. It seemed to me that the fish were eating all the midges just upstream of them. I think the trout knew they were there! I sat for a bit in the sun and threw a few stones into the water. It really is soothing to me to feel the water moving, the smells and constant movement and flow. I can feel how connected the world is: from springs bursting out from cracks in rock, the mouth of the estuary where this river will eventually meet the sea. All the other rivers and streams these water molecules will cross, the clouds and rainfall they will become, how many places they have been and will go. Each river holding the story of so many rivers, bodies, stones, skies... and so on.

I was feeling pretty lost in my mind, actually I was thinking about writing when a kingfisher appeared flying fast upstream. It really brought me into the present. This is the fourth time I have seen a kingfisher recently and I do not remember having seen them before. Then I saw a heron. Or it might have been that I saw the heron first. I can't be sure I wasn't in a very linear state of mind. That kingfisher had direction, like a bright blue arrow flying.

I kept walking, feeling a little more present and I found myself in the sun eating the odd slightly gnarly blackberry and a few sets of steps later lying in a meadow under a tall oak tree. The long grass was folded over and damp with yesterdays rain and the nights dew. I sat on my jumper and rested in the peace and quiet away from the sirens and weekend influx of shoppers. I started to feel a bit more distance from my feelings and a bit more compassion and wholeness and then I spotted a spider making her web using a tall stalk of grass which had curled over, heavy with the weight of it's seeds. I watched the process which was like a cross between maths, dancing and weaving and when on for about 10 minutes. I made a video and one day i'd like to learn how to use the editing software and put it up on this post so you can watch it. I missed the very early stages which is a shame because it would be fascinating to see the anchoring lines being built.

I watched the web being built and I thought about all the refugees and how our homes and communities require such effort to create and maintain and that they offer us access to the most basic security. I wondered how many times that spider had build her web and in how many places. A fly had already got caught before she finished, so she had picked a good spot. It's not so easy to relocate if you're human. I'm not saying spiders have it easy but I believe people who have lost there homes and communities have a right to welcome and compassion since we are all in this together and I know I wouldn't have made it this far without strangers offering me refuge and care in my life.


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