Day 1

Day 1 – 14th August 2022 – 11am. Sunday. Lochrin Basin. Haar. Cool nip in the air, Ans the sun ‘burnt through by noon. Quiet. A man, (local?) sits on a bench at the end of the basin, taking in the peace of the morning. Bunion, the Sunday strollers are out and about.

Convivial and cheerful. Sharing space with joggers. Seagulls screech and make their presence felt. Start: at the end that is also the beginning. Right on the end of the union a joining together.

Looking out and along and far, far away. At my feet a perfect peep-hole of heart-shaped metal. Rooted to the ground. Holds me horizontal. Balancing there. Pelvic bones and heart shaped metal. Launching in alignment with the water flow.

Further on there’s a ring through a hole that’s rooted to the ground. A perfect point of counter balance. The strength of it and the strength of me.

Then a metal grid where the canal turns a corner. A perfect fit for me. I lie on it. Snuggle in. Over the water. And see tiny fish, hundreds and hundreds just inches beneath me. The water is a world in itself.

A jogger runs by. And the air moves around me. I run too, loving the feel of the run. Then loving the feel of the crawl and the crawling along the stone edge of the tow path and under the wire metal arms of the steps that lead down the water.

Now covered in dust and debris and cobwebs. The marks of a place, yellow flowers we can weeds are sprouting from the edges now – wee bit by bit making their presence felt. A dog watches and comes to say hello.

Two men bend over pointing into the canal, noticing – we chat. There are 10 foot long pike in the Union Canal. And the bottom I can see is only the silt bottom, there is another 2 feet to go – I’m told – to the very bottom. Built by hands over 200 years ago.

I can tell you there is a love for a place in this conversation. How do we love a place? How does our presence in a place contribute to that place and our experience of things?

Presence from Latin praesentia – being at hand, here, now. Present from Latin praesentare = place before. Put a thing into the presence of a person.

Present – Old French = Gift.

Oh, and, now. I re-member the sheet joy of and the gifting of the feel of the jumping. I grow from bollard to bollard to bollard. Along this length of the tow path. The properties of it and the properties of me. [Ends]

Tuesday 15th August / Start at Leamington Lift Bridge / 5.30pm