When I first saw the film back in April I felt inspired to go to the mouth of the Axe and to find something that I could take to the source of the Brue as a 'payment.' If you've seen the film then you will probably understand what I am talking about; though you may not know that the Brue and the Axe used to be one river, until they were severed during the middle ages when the Glastonbury monks re-directed the Brue and effectively turned it into a canal. My impulse seemed to have something to do with making a kind of psychic re-connection between the two rivers.
Since then, over the summer I have been walking the rivers, and the space in between where the river used to flow, so that I had in fact got to know the while length from Brewham on the Mendips to Brean Down on the coast - except that I hadn't actually visited the mouth of the Axe or the source of the Brue. So last Thursday I went to Uphill, which is the site of a medieval harbour near the mouth of the Axe, with two friends who had each organised showings of the film. Also I took with me a 'medicine bundle' into which everyone at the showing last April had been invited to put their energy - and which now I had been asked to take with me to commit to the waters when I visited the place where the river meets the sea.
At low tide the mud is too dangerous to allow getting right down to the river, so I found a stone and tried to use it to weigh down the bundle so that I could throw it into the water and so that it would then be submerged. The stone just didn't fit, so I found a smaller one that was a bit flatter and that did the job. The first stone I put in my pocket and I felt that it wanted to come with me - this would be my 'payment' at the top of the hills where the Brue rises. We also found lots of beautiful little sea shells, all different colours, and I picked up a handful of them to take with me too.
On Sunday (yesterday) a group of us went up to the top of the hills above Bruton, parked up near Alfred's Tower and then walked the couple of miles through woodland to the place where the Brue rises. We found, with the help of a local walker who pointed out the place, a stone shelter within which was the spring that feeds the River Brue. Next to it was a rock with the date 1841 carved into it, and this little monument had apparently been made to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria - though it was a like a shrine to the River Goddess. I put the stone into the water next to the spring, and then each of us added a small handful of the sea shells.
It felt like a remarkably powerful thing to do. It seemed to be symbolic of the interconnectedness of everything, and of how humans have lost the plot as regards understanding that. We found ourselves standing in complete silence for quite a while. I said a short piece about what we had done and a prayer that humanity could (soon) come to really understand this business of connection, and eventually we returned to normal chatty mode and walked back to the car park near Alfred's Tower. Some time next year I shall do the whole journey from the source to the mouth in one walk, which will take several days, and I shall take with me a payment from the source to deliver to the mouth.