After the flood … the mud (Reflections on a walk to Wittenham Clumps)

A break in the weather, though as I write we are in the midst of a hail storm and the flood warnings are in full effect with the county of Somerset in a declared state of emergency, …but for yesterday a break in the weather and sighting of the sun has me out for a walk with a friend to Wittenham Clumps for a short windblown journey over the hills and through the woods.


The sky has lost it’s early blue promise replaced by a more familiar gunmetal grey and the wind picks up as we crest the hill to see the receding flood plane below before we set off down to the woods below.  The journey down becomes sticky-tricky as we hit the mud that is to accompany us for the next hour.


As we wend our way through the woods that fringe the Clumps obstacled and blocked by the deep mud, we have to discuss the best way forward, agreeing on the least worst way, grateful for our waterproof walking boots, we still try to avoid the worst excess of our treacle thick foe…and I start to muse on the mud that arises after the floods…

The free flowing, impassable floods are replaced by the slower moving deceptive mud, much as when in our dark thoughts begin to recede and we are able imagine a lighter day, often times we can still feel sluggish and held back, the mood does not always  just “lift” from our shoulders.   The memory of the dark depths remains in our muddy footprints, as we try to find a way back to dry ground, all difficulties magnified by our inability to find our way forward, diverted and digressing we feel ourselves still lost (our problems remain) and our ground, if so soft and yielding offers us little traction forward.

It is now our friends truly show themselves if we are open we can take suggestions we can compromise on the way forward, accept that our world is not perfect but it is in the living and experience of this imperfection, that it becomes our perfect world.

It is my belief that though pure movement we can shift our perspective and begin to see differently…


In western mysticism  the elements of water (emotions and spirituality) and earth (the material self) are both present in mud, so for me it can represent the act of transition from divine inspiration into the real world, making a reality of our aspirations, and mud (or at least its friendly relative clay) can, itself, be used so creatively, molded and formed, when wet, to produce some amazing objects of great beauty and curiosity.  So when we feel the cloying bind of mud in our lives we can ask ourselves how can we form these experiences into something real and tangible, we can use our writing or photography or art as a way to externalise our struggles,  we can talk about our experiences with others… these are creative acts that free our thoughts from the mud allowing them to form as objects with great beauty and curiosity of their own.

Would love to hear from you if you have any experiences of  mud to share  🙂

Hope your weeks are full of interest.

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