It is the first day of British Summer Time, the sun is shining and as I follow the road beside the river I can see the banks are dotted with wild daffodils between which wood anemones nod their delicate white faces.
Later as I am sitting on the tailgate of the car to pull my running shoes on I get the smell the river. The odour wafts through the trees carrying with it hints of peat and mud and new growth. It has that watery smell. I love the smell of the river in the springtime, it smells like swimming.
Sharrah Pool sparkles in sunshine filtered through the leafless branches of the trees. It will be another month before the leaves begin to plug the gaps. The rivers banks also exude the feel that they are a stage that has been reset for the next performance: the sand of the beach has been swept smooth, drifts of tattered leaves nestle in the fire pits and there is no litter.
From my vantage point on the big diving rock sunlit spills over my shoulder and stabs down into the peat tinted water dotting and darting at the sand strewn river bed. Incredibly it has been almost 6 months since I was last at Sharrah, which may not seem like a long absence until you know that once a week is normal and everyday of the week not unheard of.
The river is still ‘up a bit’ after the rain on Friday and bubbles spin down from the cascade which is in full force through the swoosh. In fact it swooshes me so effectively I’m swamped by the bubble filled water and surface way down the pool before I know what’s going on. I’d best have another go at that don’t you think?
The sun is sweeping across the horizon left to right but also dipping on a trajectory that means the sunshine won’t quite light the surface of the pool. Nevertheless I upend myself in a small patch of sunlit water and skim along the riverbed, dodging around the blurry rocks.
I am just getting out when some people pass by on the far bank and give me a cheery wave and ‘hello!’ and then the solitude descends again. I give the pool a more contemplative moments but the wind has now found me and carries with it a chill edge. Still after spring comes summer and I’ll be back.