Sunday, 14 November 2010

Genius Loci: The shining path

There are no paths in this place. You move like the water in the stream – jumping and running from side to side, stepping on boulders, falling down rocks. Water is everywhere, swirling in deep dark pools of peaty blackness, sparkling in tinkling sprays and dripping from beards of moss and lichen. You always get wet. Walking in this place is not always comfortable, the sides of the gill are steep and the strain tells on the feet and knees. The cold water seeps into boots and the river worn boulders, green and mossy and slippery, threaten to spill you into the stream in falls that will crack skulls and break bones.
Water is everywhere in this place. Its coldness fills the air, it seeps through boots and clothes, covers everything with its touch. I sit for a while, immune to the damp and the chill, inoculated by the beauty of small bubbles forming in the dark pool beneath a churning rapid, watching as they flow in line towards the next fall, carried always on and always down stream.

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