This photograph was taken a few weeks ago as Spring made its first delicate appearance. The Rivelin Valley has been home to me for around 14 years and there have not been many weeks when a walk in the valley, with our dogs, has not been reminder of beauty’s call. The River Rivelin is a small, peat stained, looking like cold tea, sometime water wheel driving, tributary of the Don. It splashes and gurgles past our house
It has been at the edge of our lives, an ever flowing, mainly unnoticed companion. Through all its plunges and frothing eddies it persists. This has been like the presence I have sensed in the vicissitudes of the past few months. It is a kind of flow that is in, around and through me. It has little concern for my ups and downs but finds its way through the depths of life in me and seeks to connect with a deeper more vibrant self. It contains a kind of magical quality, not the ridiculous optimism that many Christians seem to engage in: that belief is an insurance policy against tragedy and pain. This magic works through reversal, downturns inconstancy, instability, uncertainty, unpredictability, and invites, by its very flow, the willingness to face all these on our part.
This is the river of the picture constant in its changeability and flow. Rushingly after rainfall, sluggishly in dry times, powerfully in flood, gentle in spring, a reminder of the gracious flow we are part of and unnervingly have no control over and finally must surrender to.