We were deluged with rain in West Dorset during the early summer. June was a wash out! Summer dresses, shorts and sandals were neglected in the wardrobe; much use was made of wellies and water proofs. Foliage grew in abundance across the countryside. My garden resembled a rainforest, the lawn a marsh.
Nature adapted to the inclement weather as did we humans. We rushed out doors to mow lawns or light the barbecue in the odd snatches of dryness, making the best of it and keeping cheerful. The seagulls nested on next doors’ wet roof successfully hatching out a trio of ugly brown chicks ignoring the damp weather conditions.
One morning following a particularly bad storm which battered my home with heavy rain and high winds, I set off from Burton Bradstock to walk over the cliffs towards West Bay. This is an enjoyable walk at any time of year, although in high winds it can be challenging, as my friends Mary and Bob will testify!
After around a mile walking across farmland we drop into Freshwater Bay, from there we (the dogs & I) return up the steep cliff face and back along the coastal path. But as we came down to the river on that day I was astounded to see a major change. For as long as I can remember the river has gentle curved to the West and then curled south to the sea. On this day, however, it had totally changed its course carving several snake bends before emerging into the sea half way up the beach; at least 200 yards further west. The banks each side of the river had neat architectural edges, as though it had always been that way!
‘Look at the river, it’s gone berserk and changed its course’ I had exclaimed to another dog walker.
‘It must be man made’ he replied ‘to stop flooding. No way it would have just change its course without help!’
I wasn’t going to argue, I knew this was an expression of nature at it’s’ best.
I took photos from half way up the cliff marvelling at the beautiful new pattern it had carved along the beach.
If a river can make such a major change why can’t we? We are nervous of change, sometimes even fearful to try a different way of being, or thinking. But if we can be sufficiently brave to leave behind an old pattern of behaviour for something better it can be wonderfully refreshing and liberating. At least this is my own experience and that of many of my clients and students.
So if you are stuck in a rut or are regularly doing something that is not giving you joy, then perhaps you can change course like the river?
Now in September after a warm dry August the river at Freshwater has settled back almost to its’ original course. But if we make changes for the better we don’t have to return to any old outdated ways of being.