Sunday, 16 August 2009

On poddling in the river

Up early. Plane to meet. Daughter and grandsons coming for a visit. Fixed up some dinner for later. Into car. Then out again as back seat of said car was seen to be a, quite frankly, a mess. (Bools had spent a sweaty half hour in it a few weeks ago and apparently gone into a major fur moult at the same time)

Car cleaned. Off we go, with Hubs in the driving seat.

Pau airport. Ooops, plane has already arrived. People coming through the doors with luggage. Not to worry, though, no sign of family.

I stand and watch the comings and goings. Of people being met ecstatically by others. Of others being met by no-one and looking somehow abandoned.

I have stood on the same spot for several family fly-ins now. Those moments come into my mind. I feel a lump in my heart. Tears drift into my eyes. But this won't do! We don't do tearful dramas in my family! So I turn round and do a little circular walk to rid me of the this odd little missing-you-all pain. Hubs is off in the loo.

Someone is waving frantically at me. A pretty woman. Hubs comes up beside me. "Seen them yet" he says. "No" I say. "Are you blind" he says, "there she is".

It is the pretty woman. Fleetingly I am astonished at how I managed to give birth to such a vital energy of a person. That was slightly over forty years ago. Time seems to have flown by as if shot from the barrel of a gun. Zoooooom! Gone!

A tall well built figure is heading towards me, grinning from ear to ear. Ah, Tom. Again hardly recognisable. Being in his mid-teens, hormones are busily chasing through his body creating the man to come. But not for the moment. The man is there, but the boy is still very much present.

Another figure follows him. Ah, Jack.

Off home we go. Tea and cake, a look round, down to the river.

Jack wants to paddle. In he goes. Boolie too.

We all follow. And continue up the river, splashing and slipping on the wet river bed stones. "Why have you got two stripes down the front of your legs?" I say to Tom. "An experiment" he says. Apparently he had decided to have a go at seeing what look he could achieve if he shaved his legs. Not wanting to strip all of his leg hair off, he had decided to do a strip a couple of inches wide. "At least your two legs match" I say.

Jack is in the river now. Not totally immersed, just with backside in and legs up in the air. "I'm coming to rescue you" I yell, as I splash in granny-style towards him. "I've got cramp" he says. "Never mind, I'll sort it out for you". I do. One of his shoes gets carried away by the flow of the river. I nearly collapse with laughter at my attempts to keep up with it as it flows away. And the near-rescue of a dragonfly. Caught up in a web made by a spider whose home is in an upturned root of a huge drowned tree, it's end time is near. Jack is worried. It needs to be rescued. Unravelling it from the web, it is inadvertently knocked into the river. It's end time has arrived anyway as it is carried away in the flow of the river. "What is meant to be is meant to be" Karen says. Precious moments. Filed away for later on.

We go up to the Louet Bay, and back again.

Poddling about in the river was fun. But I couldn't quite shift out of my head the way in which the river flowed late last winter. Full of water, with a job to do of evacuating that water away from the land, it carried a fierce energy.

Perhaps that is indicative of life. That one flows along with one's river of life, collecting an assortment of treasured memories, enjoying the poddling along times, and respectful of those times when the river of one's life becomes fierce and one feels bowled along by circumstances beyond one's control.

Going along with the flow of one's life, that is what I learnt today.

By the way 'poddling' is not 'paddling' which involves one's feet and ankles and some of one's shins but not the knees. Poddling is in between paddling and the total immersement of swimming. Poddling involves some splash and wetness, but not much. Generally one remains dry. Unless one slips. But if one wears old shoes then one is less likely to slip. Poddling is fun because it has an element of wetness attached. One might, or might not, get soaked. Poddling is better than paddling. Paddling is a 'stay safe' occupation. Poddling isn't. Plus one's knees are likely to have some immersement, which they will enjoy especially on a hot and sunny day.

And sending blessings to my daughter, who also enjoys poddling and whose river of life is very active and full of movement.


DUTA said...

Enjoy your precious guests!

The pictures are beautiful, that of your lovely daughter on the river stones, that of your red-head grandson and the dog, and, of course, the picture with Tom, the man-boy grandson.
Wish you a happy reunion.

Vera said...

Thankyou for your best wishes Duta.