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Ruminating on Water - Penny Snowden


'Storm at Sea' - JMM Turner


Rhian and I had a conversation about water recently. We were thinking about the different moods that water reflected, whilst standing on the bridge looking down at the fast flowing water in the stream alongside St Illtud’s church in Llantwit. The different sounds that water can make in its various settings can also match our mood. That particular stream can sometimes make a rushing sound and yet at other times flow gently and quietly. So from rushing and noisy haste to tranquil and calming movement.


I wonder if one of the reasons we are drawn to the sea is because it’s a constant in our lives, which might sound an odd comment as after all, the sea is always changing. However, we can mark our days by the ebb and flow of the tides and their pattern is a reliable staple. When I was a child I was struck by this poem because the rhythm matches the action of the sea - the waves reaching the shore:-


‘Break, break, break,

On thy cold gray stones, O sea!

And I would that my tongue could utter

The thoughts that arise in me. .......’ Alfred Lord Tennyson


That was the beginning of my appreciation of poetry and I suppose also the awareness of the music of water. Water is a rich source for creative work. There is so much written and painted inspired by the sea and water in general - rivers, streams, waterfalls. The moods and sounds range from gentle burbling to raging torrents.


Then there is the rainfall


‘Rain rain rain go away

Come again another day’


Do you remember watching the raindrops chase each other down the window pane? And jumping into puddles was a wonderful game.


We have had the wettest month since records began but now on the plus side we have wonderful green colours everywhere and amazing flowers too.



We can have too much of it but we can also have too little and it is a constant companion to the pattern of our lives. In this country we find it an endless topic of conversation, to discuss the weather. Water sustains us and nourishes our bodies but also our souls too. I hope you enjoy this poem:-


‘Everything on the earth bristled, the bramble

pricked and the green thread

nibbled away, the petal fell, falling

until the only flower was the falling itself.

Water is another matter,

has no direction but its own bright grace,

runs through all imaginable colours,

takes limpid lessons

from stone,

and in those functionings plays out

the unrealised ambitions of the foam’.

we have wonderful green colours everywhere and amazing flowers too.

We can have too much of it but we can also have too little and it is a constant companion to the pattern of our lives. In this country we find it an endless topic of conversation, to discuss the weather. Water sustains us and nourishes our bodies but also our souls too. I hope you enjoy this poem:-


‘Everything on the earth bristled, the bramble

pricked and the green thread

nibbled away, the petal fell, falling

until the only flower was the falling itself.

Water is another matter,

has no direction but its own bright grace,

runs through all imaginable colours,

takes limpid lessons

from stone,

and in those functionings plays out

the unrealised ambitions of the foam’. Pablo Neruda



Pablo Neruda






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