Rain has come and rivers run
Through land that’s dry from wind and sun
Rocks and roots no longer seen
Lie beneath this silver seam
I cast a line with baited hook
And hope a fish may come and look
I watch my line, I wait to see
If lady luck will favour me
This river is a special friend, Loyal and faithful until the end
Always there and always true
Honest, reliable, through and through
I’ve sat and fished I’ve dreamt and wished
But now it’s time to leave these banks
No fish today but grateful thanks
I say good bye and hope to be
Sat here again, just you and me.
I can only stare at a rod tip or a float for so long and if nothing seems to be interested in pulling my float under or pulling my rod tip around then my attention becomes diverted by my surroundings.
A day on the bankside presents all sorts of distractions, today my eyes focus on the rivers dappled surface. I admire an impressionistic rendition of that which hangs above it. I pondered, which had more beauty reflection or reality?
The water is a rippling, moving mirror like canvas upon which is painted the full glory of the changing seasons. Nature is both art and artist, needs neither paint nor brush to enchant and delight the observer, it has no price nor value, yet it is worth more than any fortune.
I sat mesmerised by this everchanging artwork and began to think about the river, its origins and purpose, its evolution and destiny.
The land through which it plots its course may have a custodian but the river has no master, no superior, no higher authority. It belongs to no one, it is there for all to observe, enjoy and behold, every man and every living creature which depends upon its good grace.
We can touch its surface and we can see ourselves in it, we can look through it and see stones and plants and creatures but we can’t fully comprehend its complex elemental and environmental make up.
It is mysterious and beguiling but sometimes dark and foreboding.
It has many moods; it can give life, support life, it can take it away, it can be forgiving but condemn in equal measure. It is alive, it is powerful, its majesty undisputed.
The river makes its mark in the land and finds its way to its ultimate destination without needing intervention nor influence, it is alive and mighty. What power it can yield when angry, wild destructive and menacing, yet in its benign moods it can be calm and soothing and therapeutic.
It has energised an industrial revolution and provided prosperity to those who have dared harness its power. Sometimes abused and polluted but a price has been paid for such neglect, disrespect and ignorance.
Its ancestors have carved and sculptured our landscape, it has created great valleys by exploiting the lands soft underbelly and forged a path to expand its ambitions.
Sometimes it stops and widens and grows; satisfied with its work it pauses, not wishing to pursue any further territory beyond that which it has claimed. It allows other miracles of nature to take advantage of its mellowed state and becomes a haven.
It will eventually reach the end of the land and join a mighty body of water ebbing and flowing in a perpetual greeting. It will provide a conduit for the succession of species reliant upon its life sustaining gift.
Some of us are drawn to these silver seams in our landscape like metal is attracted to a magnet. I am one of those who enjoy the sanctuary and solitude of the riverbank, although there are times when companionship from likeminded “brethren of the angle” can elevate the experience to a plateau where each can experience anticipation and fulfilment in equal measure, particularly if tea and cake are part of the equation……
Verse, Writing & Images Jeremy Croxall Winter 2022