The river Lambourn flows again…

Sometime between 3 and 4 this afternoon the stream came back. No sign at 2.30, just the same damp muddy earth. Now there’s maybe two inches. My first thought: it’s run-off from the fields. But this is clear water. It’s moving so slowly past the window, but where there’s a little dip beyond the bridge it’s faster, the surface is rippled. Not only is there water outside the window, there is movement.

The wonder of it all. The sense of revelation. How out of nothing water appears. Yes, it’s a spring, so there’s an explanation, and the wonder is how below the surface up in the hills the aquifer rises and falls, cuts off the water flow in a moment and restores it in a moment. There’s always an explanation, but the wonder remains.

There’d been a warning yesterday that water had been seen at Lambourn. How could it not have reached us I wondered? It had simply been moving very slowly, curling round and overflowing the stones and flint and lumps of earth.

Rivers should flow through winter and dry up in summer if they dry up at all. But winterbournes need the winter rains, and flow again almost as harbingers of spring. As come the snowdrops and the crocuses so comes the stream.

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