For some or other reason I felt a pang of emotion welling up just below my jaw when I stopped the car next to the river.
Maybe it was the brightness of the early morning sun, bringing out the vibrant colours of the shades of green contrasting so deep with the blue sky.
Maybe it was the elation of being alone with nature and what she could re-affirm inside me these few hours I intended to spend with her. Maybe it was the last few notes of Queen from Live Killers performing “Love of my life”, as I parked my car under the tree.
On the other side of the river, the picnic spot is bustling with noisy folk who are probably already onto their third drink while the boom box is blaring a repetitive drone of an electronic bass line.
Sometimes it seems to me that it can only be due to people that I find the wrongs in this world. Earthquakes may happen, storms will bring devastation and tsunamis will leave a path of destruction but there is no wrong or right in nature – nature just is. I mean really, why do you want to travel for two hours to drink and make a noise in a natural garden where tranquility can be savoured. I hate my fellows - sometimes.
And the river flows…
Moving up-stream on the bank until the sound of amplified crap has ceased, I realise I’ve been travelling without following path or direction. Good; I can find elation in getting lost here; in fact, my mind finds peace when it ventures ground like this, on a day like this, in a place like this.
For a fleeting moment I feel the helplessness of this world bearing down on my thoughts again. How on this earth will my children’s children ever find a spot where no other of his fellows aren't already? How long will it take us to realise that we are over-populating this planet with such speed that she will not be able to provide for us any longer?
I physically cast these ominous thoughts one side by jumping across a creek, and settling under a thorn tree on the island, water streaming in a steady flow all around.
The water casts millions of sparks as it wriggles in the sun. Every now and again the swallows come down and glide over the sparks to catch a beak-full, and are off again to pick insects up high above.
Ducks are swimming up-stream with chicks in tow, then down the creek to just follow the same route up again. Up and down, how fitting to explain how we perceive life and time every day.
One day we are full of energy to take on the world and everything seems a pleasure while the next, we feel hopeless, clumsy and drained.
For a long time they would have me believe that it is spiritual in nature and can be overcome by reading passages in the biggest storybook of all.
For a while they also had me into bullshitting myself every morning by playing motivational speeches in my mind. Fact is - it is biorhythms and diet, dehydration and sleep, peaks and valleys, basically - just life.
And the river flows…
There is a fig tree half on the bank with roots reaching the water-line like tentacles, a myriad of arms grabbing some saturated earth and feeding its fruit. It will not gorge in the magnitude of water, because it only needs a bit to survive – even flourish.
Who do we think we are to overindulge in breeding, eating, drinking and expanding society into the lush, fruitful earth which we deem our property? When will we learn that we are here only on borrowed time?
If we can find it in ourselves to leave nature to have her ups and downs and flourish (at least those parts we haven’t encroached on yet) while we ride that same roller coaster in our minds and bodies, we may just begin to understand how to have some respect for her.
I may have luxury at home, a sweet ride to get to where I want to go and a good pay packet to purchase bulk reared fruit, veg and animal products but nature still brings a serenity which no other object or place can deliver.
And the river flows...
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