jusummerhayes

The flow of life

The River Avon, South Brent, Devon
The River Avon, South Brent, Devon
Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?" That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.
Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Good morning.

Tis Saturday — as we say in these parts.

Once I've written this post, I will, much like normal, head off for my daily constitutional; I'm not sure where the dog is — more than likely holed up in the youngest's bedroom, snoring his wee head off. Lazy dog!

Always, or nearly always, I'll find myself to a fallen tree stump that overlooks the river shown in the above photo. I don't sit there for long but long enough to take in all of life — 

the complete flow of it: from beginning to end.

Don't ask me why, but this practice has become my new meditation. Isn't that strange? I no longer or at least for now sit on a cushion, close my eyes and wait in silence for the allotted time to elapse. For now, that seems a little artificial. Instead, my meditation is to sit with the flow of the river, to drink in the apparent sights, sounds, smells and, most of all, the changing light. 

Always the beautiful, rich, delicious light.

For reasons which I still can't articulate, it fills me to the brim with an overwhelming sense of being — all body, mind and...soul. 

Also, right there, in that moment, I see life — my life — flowing from nothing and returning to nothing.

The flow is never the same — some days slow and meandering, others a raging torrent — but it always flows, at least whilst I'm there to witness its presence.

I think it would be too strong to say I'm taken out of myself (I'm not sure that's possible, in any event) but for that brief moment, I'm at one with whatever is happening. It's a little like that when I'm stood at one of the many gates around South Brent recording a short broadcast on Periscope. This too has become quite ritualistic but it's a way of me slowing down, taking a moment to breathe and to share whatever is arising — even, as yesterday, Alfie practically pulling me over. (I think he was trying to tell me something, namely, "You're way too serious, Dad!" 🤣🤣)

I accept that this is, again, all very personal — "What's it got to do with me?" — but then again (I think) it's a reminder to myself (and you perhaps) that this practice, this beautiful practice, has arrived unbidden, and whilst I'm doing my best to share my experience, perhaps nothing needs to be said — 

it just is.

Much in the same that all of life just is.

It comes, it goes; it flows in one direction, then another; sometimes light, but often dark — very dark.

If I strip it all back though — to its barest feature — it's just me, the water and everything that's happening in that moment. 

And that's more than enough for me. More than enough.

Nowhere to go; nothing to do. Perfect in every way.

What about you?

Do you have a place — perhaps somewhere in the garden or close to where you live — that similarly fills you up and makes you realise and appreciate the constant flow (and ebbing) of life? 

Have a wonderful day.

Blessings and much love ❤️, Ju


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