One of the first things I did on arriving home after my visit to Hamiltron was to take a walk in the warm sunny afternoon. My neighbour calls this particular walk 'round the block' and it skirts the edge of the flat land that our homes are on one side of. I picked my way along the muddy track and reflected on the discrepency between the many pleasant aspects of the past few days and my disgruntled feelings.
At the far corner of the 'block' you leave the track and strike out across a paddock towards a lovely little creek. There is a concrete ford dividing the shallow upsteam with a deep pool downstream. Both sides are bounded by rickety picket fences suspended above the water and hairy with lichen.
On this afternoon the ford was flooded, the first time that I'd ever seen water rushing over top of the ford instead of through the five pipes running underneath it. What is usually a tidy waterfall in five parts had become a wide anarchic overflow that seemed to be cracking the concrete. I investigated the tangle of muddy branches, twigs, leaves and grass that were blocking the opening of the pipes. As I pulled away the mess of prickly totora and sticky mud the water began to withdraw gratifyingly from its overland detour and rush instead into the pipes. After I cleared each opening I paused to walk across and check the water flowing out, first brown and then clear.
When all the pipes were gushing satisfactorily I stepped across the remaining trickle at the centre of the damp ford and continued on my walk. Somehow, while absorbed in this simple task, my mood had lifted, my mind was clearer and my spirit welcomed home.