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No room in the river

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

There’s no room in the ground for the rain. There’s no room in the river. The water has spilled out across the land and before us, lies an inland ocean. But still. Like a mirror. So it reflects the February sky and the world is twice as grey and twice as bleak. Today’s swim is not so inviting and the emotional challenge seems greater than the cold and the current.

It will change us for the better, Darrin tells us, on a cellular level. We laugh and, tugging off the last warm layer, stand at the river’s new edge and ponder how to enter. If we want to. Do we? We do? Perhaps.

At last, uninvited, we embrace the discomfort. The first in is Kath, a red flash of inspiration. A butterfly. (Yes, she did.)

This is our view of the river today, our experience; another memory to treasure. Dressed and looking forward to the return of sensation in my feet and hands, I gaze back out across the inland ocean. I reflect that this week, uninvited, rivers have burst into homes to wash away comforts, treasures and memories; they have squatted on fields to drown crops and hope.

For a lot of people, their recent experiences of rivers have been very grey and very bleak.

Fiona Undrill, February 2020


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