23 August 2018


I hope your late summer is going well. Much quiet work, Heartwork practice, and reading going on here, and I am sorting many years of notebooks, and finding great quotes squirrelled away, here's a sharp juicy one from Jung:

'When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.'


A young thumb-thick diamond-patterned adder and many wall lizards have been basking on the stones in the sunshine, between cloudy days. Then recently, turning over a huge slippery stone in the well, I found a beautiful foot-long eel, which had somehow made its way up from the shore. Last week it was returned to the sea by a local young man who also likes turning over stones to see what interesting and unexpected beings might reside there. There was no food and no future for the eel in the spring, it was breathing air rather than using its gills, and there was nowhere for it to swim freely. The sweet water comes directly out of the rock at this point, and is very good to drink, but only flows for about 10 feet before disappearing underground again and flowing the 100m down to the sea. A few years ago I started regularly cleaning the spring and had inadvertently taken over from an older woman who no longer felt fit enough to do it. Now the water is not covered by rubble, birds and other animals come and drink there. All creatures intuitively know the goodness of clean water, and humans have held springs and wells sacred in perhaps all but the very wettest places, since the very earliest times. I love the lines in the Tao Te Ching that 'The higher good is like water, it benefits all and does not contend'. Also that it dwells in the lowest places, where 'people do not like to be' and that 'where it pools becomes good ground'.

I'll be doing more well-cleaning this week, clearing stones, removing all the remaining tiny bits of rubbish, cutting back overhanging vegetation a bit, so the falling autumn leaves don't acidify the water and make it bitter. I will need help to remove the huge stone under which the eel was curled. If I want to safely move big rocks like that in future myself, I will need to work on my core stability concertedly, rather than the half-hearted way I currently do. When I hurt myself by trying to lift things that are either too heavy, or when I am distracted, I am no use to anyone and suffer a lot of pain. (Apologies to those at the Summer workshop, you will know my grimacing 'back-ache' face is no fun to look at while pushing hands!) I am great at practising what I love doing. It is essential for me to attend to the daily necessary and un-glamourous work which supports that. This is not news, on any level, however literally or metaphorically you take your stories. Ah well. 'The feast is forward', as John Kells said.

When the eel was returned to the sea, its brown-black body was dark and sinuous against the bluish water and white stones of the shore. It is great to think of the eel swimming in the sea now. I wonder where it is and where it is going next.

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