Sunday, February 7, 2010

More Time

More time to stand and stare is probably what I mean, to gather in the small detail and brood.
Being stuck inside for what seems ages, we went out on friday for a walk along the river before heading back to the Fox and Raven (one day I shall write about all these pubs). At Barnes Mill everything is dark and dank, vegetation droops in the water, but there are signs that spring is on its way, as the willow branches colour up to a soft reddish hue. There is plenty going on at the mill and by the bridge three, if not four moorhens paddle softly and then walk on the thick matted vegetation in and out of their little den.

The waters at the mill and river are dark and muddy, the water rushes furiously over the little weir, as the snows and now the rain runs off the land.

Saturday and the day was sunny, so we took off to look at Witham, and my partner then remembered Cressing Temple, two magnificent medieval barns, sadly I had forgotten my camera, but the place was shut anyway. But we got lost on the way and drove through some tiny lanes to try to find it, and a rather extraordinary thing happened. We came round a sharp angled bend and there on the left was a mill which I recognised from a book I had read years ago.

Bulford Mill had been owned by Roger Tabor, apparently a cat expert, and he had written a book about restoring the mill, but he also, being a naturalist, wrote about all the plants around the mill, and the annual chore of clearing the weed choked waters in the mill pond and the River Brain that must have turned the great wheel of the mill. It was probably one of the books that set up my great love affair with water and wild plants, the marvellous annual cycle of flowers that appear through the year still to be found if you look carefully in the wild, undisturbed places.

The River by Ted Hughes

Fallen from heaven, lies across
The lap of his mother, broken by world.

But water will go on
Issuing from heaven

In dumbness uttering spirit brightness
Through its broken mouth.

Scattered in a million pieces and buried
Its dry tombs will split, at a sign in the sky,

At a rending of veils.
It will rise, in a time after times,

After swallowing death and the pit
It will return stainless

For the delivery of this world.
So the river is a god

Knee-deep among reeds, watching men,
Or hung by the heels down the door of a dam

It is a god, and inviolable.
Immortal. And will wash itself of all deaths.

No comments:

Post a Comment