Saturday, 28 February 2009

A bridge over the Winterbourne

The Winterbourne viewed from the foot bridge, looking towards Silbury Hill

The little bridge that connects Avebury Trusloe to Avebury. Although there are several small foot bridges crossing the Winterbourne this is probably the one most used.
The Winterbourne is a beautiful river that meanders from its source somewhere near Winterbourne Bassett through the village of Winterbourne Monkton along the edge of Avebury, past Silbury to meet up with the river Kennet and eventually the Thames. The Winterbourne is joined by the Sambourne and today, for the first time, I saw the spot where they join. I have walked across the small bridge in the photo many times but have never viewed from afar before.
The river is called the Winterbourne because traditionally it dries up in the summer though with our recent wet summers this has not been the case. The Winterbourne has been written about extensively elsewhere so I can only write from a personal perspective. I understand this little river renowned for it 'magical' quality is linked to goddess worship of old when sources of water were equated with the life giving aspects of Mother Earth.
Thank you to the small group of people I walked with today. Pete and Steve, both local to Avebury and very knowledgeable about the hidden elements of the landscape. Rose and Sue, two lovely nurturing women, thanks to Sue for her truly sublime muffins. The two children that walked with us and who searched for flint arrowheads in the mole hills on Windmill Hill - I was pleased to find I am still in touch with the 10 year old within as I joined them in this activity. And last but not least, Betty the black labrador who jumped in the Winterbourne to chase a stick just before we returned to Avebury.
I close this piece with a reflection on the well known adage 'water under the bridge' - meaning, I believe, having the wisdom to know when something that once seemed important is now finished business.