Flood alert (1)

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“Here and there in the moss a few white stones have been piled together. I go to them and water is welling up, strong and copious, pure cold water that flows away in rivulets and drops over the rock. These are the Wells of Dee. This is the river. Water, that strong white stuff, one of the four elemental mysteries, can be seen here at its origins. Like all profound mysteries, it is so simple that it frightens me. It wells from the rock, and flows away. For unnumbered years it has welled and flowed away. It does nothing, absolutely nothing, but be itself”


“For the most appalling quality of water is its strength. I love its flash and gleam, its pliancy and grace, its slap against my body; but I fear its strength. I fear it as my ancestors must have feared the natural forces that they worshipped. All the mysteries are in its movement. It slips out of holes in the earth like the ancient snake. I have seen its birth; and the more I gaze at that sure and unremitting surge of water at the very top of the mountain, the more I am baffled.”


“We make it all so easy, any child at school can understand it…….But I don’t understand it. I cannot fathom its power”

Nan Shepherd:      The living mountain   [Canongate. 1977]

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2 thoughts on “Flood alert (1)

  1. Sitting here up the hill from an Port Donegal reading Nan Shepherd close to the cabin where it’s said Dylan Thomas had a locking to dry out….and my back against the broken wall of a famine house….only the sound of water…coming in..ever coming in…..thankyou.


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