A Walk by the Dodder River

Blog 18 Image Marion Reynolds Nov 1When I walk on the banks of the Dodder River in South West Dublin I am reminded of Ilia Delio’s invitation, and indeed of many others including St Francis of Assisi, to seek the living God in the first book of revelation, the ‘Book of Nature.’  Ilia says, “For Francis, nature was a place of prayer, worship and community and spiritual transformation.”

When I walk on this popular path my body begins to slow down, my mind moves from current anxieties, and gradually I notice the birdsong, the sound of the river, the colours of the trees and the plants. I smell the freshness of nature all around me. I arrive at the fast flowing weir, where the Poddle River meets the Dodder, and I sit for a while. I meet a community of people as we each do our own journey – the elderly and infirm, the young parents, the children, and of course the dogs who greet all of us! I feel blessed by the abundance all around me, and to my surprise I am often visited by a solution to an issue I had left behind when I ventured out.

At one point on my journey I see the bridge over the busy M50 road ahead of me. Heavy traffic continuously crosses that bridge while we walkers and cyclists are nourished underneath. And, of course, I realise that I too drive over that bridge regularly. On those occasions I’m paying attention to the road, I’m keeping the rules, and very likely have what I might consider “important” issues on my mind! From beneath I watch from the traffic moving efficiently, and then I am reminded of Carl Jung’s image of the masculine and feminine and his conviction of the importance of cultivating both aspects of the human condition in our lives, whether we are male or female. And as I continue on my way I feel called to nurture the feminine so that I can traverse the masculine aspect of my journey with equanimity.

I need to remember when I cross the bridge in the car that a ‘world’ exists underneath – a world where we are closely united with the awe inspiring ‘Book of Nature’, so that we can hold our balance when we feel somewhat frenetic.

by Marion Reynolds SSL