Sunrise and sunset, autumn and spring; we all feel those certain times of the day and the year which are special, in-between times, when there is a clearer sense of this world and the other world overlapping.
This morning was one such of these. The sun was just coming over the horizon and the mist was rising from the River Brue. It was at this time of day, and this time of year, when the spirit of the river first fleetingly revealed herself as the morning mist and I first realised just how nearby she wound her deeply sided, clay-contained path to West Lydford.
From here on my morning walk it looks like the fields and footpaths carry on uninterrupted to the far side of Lovington a couple of miles away. For the unwitting walker, though, this narrow, deep river is only one field away from here and is renowned for having very few bridges in these parts and no fords. It can cause quite a detour as places that look near are actually far, due to the bends and soggy banks.
Coming from Derbyshire to Somerset, I was surprised at how many deep-sided rivers and how few fords there are here. Fords are another liminal place, being both river and road, and a place to beware of or to seek out the Washer.
Our move to the West Country also brought me a deeper appreciation of local liminal times. Here on this farm, where we rent a small cottage and keep our old horses, the swallows leave in mid-September, just after the full moon in fact. There is then a local liminal time which is marked by the song and fluttering presence of the robins as they start to reclaim their territories in preparation for winter. Then the starlings arrive, great flocks all appearing at once it seems, making their presence known by twittering their joy to be back together up in the tall beech tree in the top paddock. This year their arrival was exactly one month from the departure of the swallows.
Preparing plans for 2017 as part of my job, I am reminded of the national liminal times of the financial year end in the UK, which coincides with our organisational year end. At work, the actions to wrap up one year end and start another are in alignment with the zodiacal new year as we shift from Pisces to Aries. It always amuses me that the new organisational year finally steadies into its rhythm just as we get into Taurus.
These liminal times call for us finish taking stock, then to stop and wait and see. It’s the seeing that’s important. If you stop and wait, you will surely see what needs to be seen. Despite what you’ll find on the internet, people who know what they are doing very rarely do anything at these liminal times, other than observe their beauty and use them as a time to deepen their connection. For, if you allow yourself to stop and wait, you will see and know exactly what needs to be done when the energy of the new phase begins.
©Text and photos by Sarah Jane Williamson, October 2016