MEETING THE SEASON

by contemplativeinquiry

In these parts, there is a week at the end of April – St. George’s Day to Beltane Eve – that I would describe as mature spring. The rising year is leaning in to summer, but not quite there. I came close to missing it this year, at least as an outdoors event. I have made a good, if slightly fluctuating, recovery from the COPD flare-up described in recent posts. I met this moment, on this day, in the open air. At every level I feel better for the experience.

The location is Alney Island, now a nature reserve. The river Severn has divided into east and west channels, with Alney Island between them. Most of my pictures were taken near the (lesser) east channel, which flows into the Gloucester waterfront and becomes the Gloucester-Sharpness canal. Alney Island is not, for the time being, literally an island. The waters do not meet up again until the canal flows back in to the greater, western channel of the Severn, which by then is almost estuarial. However nothing stays the same and, as an aspect of the climate crisis, there are likely to be significant changes in these waters over the coming decades (1).

On 24 April 2022, I walked through an almost-city water margin. I was moved by its burgeoning growth, noticing the abundance of green in contrasting shades and forms. For awhile I had given up on going out during this delicious period. The experience, however fragile and transient both I and this space might be, was pure celebration. Taking pictures became an act of celebration, and also of giving thanks.

(1) https://coastal.climatecentral.org/ – I chose 2050 on ‘choose map’ and both ‘Gloucester UK’ and ‘Severn Estuary UK’ in ‘search places’.