I’ve just returned from of my favourite breaks, communing with the Angel of Water. A few days sailing along on a narrow boat, this time on the River Thames. Rather than exploring the backwaters that create the backbone of the Midlands, we glided along through another very beautiful area that includes Royal Windsor, and Henley-on-Thames. It was fun, and very different from the canals in that it was larger, faster, and busier with boats and nature.
With the rising of the sun and the dawn chorus of ducks, to the mooring up at dusk alongside cathedral shaped Weeping Willow trees it was perfect in every way. As a nature lover, what made it so exciting was to experience such closeness with so many water birds, of sizes and species that would have thrilled the most avid twitcher. As we witnessed a flock of geese noisily ‘taking off’, huge herons stalking their next meal, and a pair of parent swans teaching their two signets to fly by skirting along the surface of the water, my heart literally leapt for joy. As I gently spoke to a family of swans I was feeding and listened to the signets lisping whistle in response I felt such a huge respect and sense of awe at their beauty and grace. As the sunlight glows behind their breeze-filled filled beautiful white feathers it is easy to see the historical connection between angels and these magnificent birds. I chuckled as we sailed by a whole flock of them preening and gasped at the volume of white feathers on the bank. What would the dear lady who once tried to tell me there is a difference between ‘real’ angel feathers and birds feathers have made of this.
When my work is overwhelming and my husband has planned a ‘short-break’, I have to fight off the urge to take my work with me. (I know many of you will empathise with that, especially those of you, who like me are self employed). This time, I agreed to have a long weekend, but to resume my work for the rest of our week aboard. But, having checked the address of the marina on my laptop on our journey to pick up the boat I carefully placed it under my passenger seat – then I promptly forgot. When we unpacked our bags at the first mooring I found to my horror that I had no laptop. Oh no- my work! Ah well, my husband shrugs, maybe I wasn’t meant to write, just rest. After a couple of days and hardly any internet connection, then a hand injury, I began to see an obvious divine intervention – a strong message from the angels that I need to relax sometimes. Instead of catching up on work I soaked up the beauty of my surroundings, turning my break into a perpetual spiritual practice – blessing and thanking the Angel of Water for soothing my body with the flow of the river, (the Thames has lock-keepers instead of me, the ‘second mate’, winding locks and pushing gates); my mind by filling my senses with such wonderful sights and sounds; and my soul by surrounding me with magic and beauty.
Water is a true gift. It flows onwards, cleansing, shifting, purging, drifting. Waters need to flow in order to stay energised, life-giving and pure. Rather like us. If we remain still we stagnate and become life-less. If we fight the current don’t we become terribly tired and lose energy? And if we try to go faster than the natural flow isn’t there a chance that we might go adrift somewhere other than where we need to be? Whether it is a fresh spring, a stream or a full-flowing river you can’t stop water flowing. You can try, but it will continue to flow steadily somewhere else, always in the same direction. Human beings are so amazingly sophisticated, by design. Internal minerals and mechanisms within our body indicate to us whether we are going in the right direction. Intuitively and instinctively we become aware if we are not. If we follow our heart, and trust that our angels are guiding us the passage will be a good one. No-one said it would always be easy, relaxed and slow. There will allows be stones in the way and the occasional rapids, but how exciting. Might as well go along with the flow, after all the Angel of Water resides there.