Monday, 12 April 2010

The Water of Life





My world is greening as I watch. I can see, and smell, and hear it, and I can feel the earth's life force in my blood. On the farm where the ponies live, water bubbles forth from the earth in a dozen magical ways. Some springs are strong, and flow all year, and others come and go. These two are my favourites - both have sprung to life as if drawn by the sun over the last couple of weeks. The top picture shows where the water wells up through a tree root, and trickles down through a channel into a mossy pool beneath.
And then there is the fountain, sometimes so strong that it spouts up three or four inches above ground. It flows straight out of the ground and washes down across the turf, and though it has been there for as long as I can remember ( 20 years or so) it has never carved a channel for itself. The horses always choose to drink from this spring in preference to anything else.
Springs have held a special place in folklore since the beginning of time, as a source of life, and a place of magic and healing. Terri Windling has an excellent essay on Sacred Springs here, which explains it so much better than I can!




Birds, large and small, are busying themselves, crafting nests in every conceivable shape and size. The rookery behind my house expands slowly and noisily, mishapen bundles of sticks in the still bare topmost branches of the wood. The hedgerow hawthorn and hazel hums with small wings, and the swallows have been swooping between the barns for the last week. Austin's shaggy foal coat is coming out in large clumps, and the Jackdaws are quick to take advantage of this! Austin seems quite content to be followed around all day by this chattering flock.

And I took an opportunity to spend some time with Red, who has had to take rather a back seat lately, with so much else going on. He is 20 this year, but still 5 in his heart.

15 comments:

Yarrow said...

How wonderful and magical to have those beautiful springs in your field :)
I so love the picture of you and Red :)

Jacky said...

Isnt nature wonderful...I love the water springing from the roots of the tree and all of that amazing green moss.
Lovely sunshine and nice to spend time with the ponies. I love your horse Red...my fellow turns 21 this year and he still thinks he is 5 also. So lovely to have a life around animals.

Jacky xox

Caroline said...

Hmm, I am breathing in springtime in Devon! Lovely post! Is that a clothed Lady Godiva there on Red?!!

Madeleine said...

Austin looks totally oblivious to the pecking crows. I hope they don't like eyes.

Danielle Barlow said...

Thankyou Kim - it's a very happy picture:)

Jacky - I live in a place where moss covers everything - if you stood still for too long it would grow on you!

Caroline - LOL! A real Lady Godiva moment would not be a pleasant sight ;)

Swan Artworks said...

Red looks like such a lovely gentle horse, and beautiful markings...
I love the spring rising through the tree root, makes you wonder if it might be Ent water!!
Your post reminded me of how many years ago after walking past a hillside spring that I passed often, I flung a pebble I'd been carrying high, straight up in the air as I walked away without looking and made a wish...
I was astounded to hear the 'plop' of it landing in the spring several yards behind me...
And yes, it did come true...
Who knows...?

A mermaid in the attic said...

Beautiful photos Danielle. I find it fascinating that, although we are in opposite hemispheres, and heading into opposite seasons...we are experiencing the same thing. Here, I noticed as I drove down south to pick my girls up after their stay at their grandparents, that greenness is creeping up the dry, yellowed farm hillsides from newly reborn creeks, a pale green haze that almost seems like a mirage. Rain has finally come, water is flowing again, and I'm FINALLY wearing a jumper and socks!

Granny Sue said...

Whew! I thought he was dead, with those birds on him. Reminds me of the old ballad the Twa Corbies.

The pictures of the spring are enchanting.

Velma said...

what a beautiful, beautiful horse. you two look happy.

Carol Anne Strange said...

Lovely photos, Danielle. Nature is emerging magically after winter. Always so nice to see the fabulous you and your equally fabulous equines. xx

Aisling Kiernan said...

Hi Danielle,
I see you have a talent for painting with words as well as paint and cloth!
This lovely weather has lifted all our spirits, enjoy every moment.

Julie Harward said...

Hi there...sorry I haven't visited, I have been very sick, life flighted to hospital this week..I love your photo's here, they look magical. My brother used to have a stallion that looked like your big spotted Red, he was an app. stallion. Take care. :D

Tammie Lee said...

such a beauty you sit on in that last photo! I loved having a peak into your wonderful spring! Such a glorious time!

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Beautiful photo of you and Red, I love it! I had a favorite spring when I was a child, much like the one in you top photo. It was on my grandfather's farm, in the woods. Always seemed like a magical place to me. My mom played there when she was young too.

Anonymous said...

What an inspired photo of a willow twig woven into your horses tail, I love horses all my life, but never did this!! But now I will (try anyway)!! You should turn to selling your photos.
From one horsewoman to another..Angela, West Cork, Eire

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails