I had heard about the Kogi's film 'Aluna,' and its central message which is that 'You must look after the rivers.' What seemed most important to me was to look after our local river, the Brue. What I'm aware of is that its course has been messed around with a lot over the centuries, particularly beyond Glastonbury where its course was completely altered in the thirteenth century. I believe the reason was that the Abbot of Glastonbury wanted a trade route to the sea which did not go through land controlled by the Bishop of Wells. So in the thirteenth century the river Brue was severed from the Axe - they used to be all one river - and turned into a canal. There isn't much awareness of this history.
Then there's Llewellyn's four point plan. The first point is Witnessing - without judgement, expectation, or wanting anything to change. Action will come later. It would be an interesting fantasy to imagine the river returning to its original course, becoming one again; but what I want to do for now is to witness it, to notice how it is in relation to how it was, to get to know it, to walk along its banks. So I walked out to Cow Bridge and then along the river to Pomparles Bridge near Street. I tried to take a picture of a pair of herons that landed on the river bank a little way ahead of me, without much success.
The water level in the river was quite high, but below the top of the bank. Nearly every year it floods just along here; the water pours over the bank and inundates the fields between here and Wearyall hill. But this year we've had the wettest winter for centuries and it hasn't flooded. Waking along here I was hoping for some clue as to why, but I didn't find one. I discovered the answer a week or two later when I visited some friends in Bruton. There's a dam above Bruton, built to keep the town from flooding, and over the last couple of years they have been improving and enlarging this dam. The work was completed in time for this winter, and the Brue valley did not flood - the Parret certainly did, and even the river Hartlake just a couple of miles north of Glastonbury, but not the Brue.
Whilst I was in Bruton I made a plan to visit the source of the river, near Brewham up on the Mendips. I'm not yet sure when I shall do this.