A River Romance

Still Pool at Staverton on the River Dart
Last September as the builders had almost finished, and I was much recovered from surgery, I took time out for a retreat in a beautiful location on the Moray Firth. On that often tricky penultimate day when nothing seems quite clear, I noticed in my creative doodling, clear masculine and feminine sexual imagery. My guide Joyce suggested I look at what might emerge from bringing the images together. True to form, looking for “content” rather than “process” I immediately jumped on the notion of “new life”. I felt sure that some new direction, or clarity about the way forward with the challenges I was facing, would emerge. I chose to do a slow walk around the labyrinth in the garden. As I sat quietly in the centre the words “Don’t bypass the lovemaking” came tumbling into my consciousness. I almost laughed out loud, the words were direct, clear and intriguing. 
I didn’t have any further insight, but returned home happy to let the words take their own shape in their own time.

Seals playing,  off the Cornish coast
I had just started swimming at Still Pool again and with the mild autumn was still going down to the river in October. One morning  a local friend Clare was there with Stephen, a friend of hers I’d met swimming back in the Spring. I noticed a little frisson of excitement on seeing him again after a 5  month gap. Usually when I swim, Selkie, my young retriever, spends her time sniffing around the bank. I called her at one point, and Stephen asked “Why do you call her Selkie”? I told him of the importance of a “Selkie” story I’d read back in 2004 on a long retreat in Northumberland.  It was a pivotal time for me, and the interpretation of the story summed up the life change I was embarking upon. Little did I know that it was the start of a journey that would ultimately bring me to Devon and….  

On the rocks, Cornwall
Back to Stephen who replied “Well I study seals” (an understatement, as it’s something he’s been doing for the past 25 years). The “coincidence” was ringing bells for both of us. The next time we met, he was alone. We swam together and walked back up the lane to his car, where he asked me for my phone number. The rest as they say is history. As we’ve embarked on a relationship together, those words on the retreat “Don’t bypass the lovemaking” seem to have taken on a form that is full of delight, exhilarating, challenging, and truly lovely. I couldn’t have wished for a happier outcome! 
On one of our first walks along the Dart

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