The Returning

Luccombe Chine has had a mini landslip. The steep wooden steps are lurching; the board walk on the ledge has been dislodged and pushed aside by water and soil; the waterfall, always heard but obscured by the undergrowth, has now been exposed. The new deposit of soil has changed the water’s course and now it tumbles over the bottom ledge on to the beach in a different place, more visible, no longer hidden amongst the broken masonry of the ruined fishing cottages. The waterfall is terraced, the largest section falling onto the ledge. Here it has begun to carve a bowl in the sandstone. It is beautiful – this sudden exposure like the revealing of something mysterious and wonderful.


The water’s flow is incredible lively. I had got so used to hearing and sensing it, the steps and boardwalks built across its perpetual course. Until now I had caught only the smallest glimpses between brambles and ferns, something inaccessible but deeply felt, the dominate voice of the chine, urging on the descent down to the sea. I sit on the steps next to the bowl, watching the waters spiral and release. On the ledge above, the water flows from three channels into one, parting, merging and falling. The sound is the brightest song, deafening; rising and spilling over into my being.


I watch two grey herons hunt at the sea’s edge. One or the other occasionally launches out low across the water; the wide, arched length of their wings heavy and laboured in flight, tips skimming the surface. Returning to shore they are silent, frozen forms amongst the rocks, appearing to be unaware, yet never straying too far from each other.


I have been reading through bits of the wonderful book ‘Women Who Run with the Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It is a book of amazing depth and beauty and I have returned to it many times for inspiration over the last few years. In the chapter entitled Homing: Returning to Oneself there is a quote from Jung:


When spirit becomes heavy, it turns to water…Therefore the way of soul…leads to the water.


Water, by its very nature, speaks of the journey of return. The Island is surrounded by ocean, its waters evaporating into clouds that rain down upon the earth filling the Island’s rivers and waterways, bubbling up from its springs and – in a perfect and poetic fulfilment of its cycle – returning to the ocean, shaping and reshaping the land through each journey it makes, time and again, perpetually flowing. This constant venturing and returning is the heart of the whole cycle, without which the land would perish, life shrivelling for lack of moisture.


The themes of journeying and return have been upper most in my mind of late. Some one recently told me that they thought I had come to explain away love as a series of psychological processes; that I had become blind to the extraordinary mystery at its core. Their words hit hard, as truth can often do. I feel a little dazed at the realisation.


Estes writes:


That feeling of being torn comes from hearing, consciously or unconsciously, something calling us, calling us back, something we cannot say no to without harming ourselves.


If we don’t go when it is time, the soul will come for us, as we see in these lines from a poem called ‘Woman Who Lives Under the Lake


…one night

there’s a heartbeat at the door.

Outside, a woman in the fog,

with hair of twigs and dress of weed,

dripping green lake water.

She says “I am you,

And I have travelled a long distance.

Come with me, there is something I must show you…”

She turns to go, her cloak falls open,

Suddenly, golden light…everywhere, golden light…


The sudden revealing of Luccombe’s secret waters seems to have worn down my defences, carving out in me a space for filling, a place to return to.



  1. Tracey Jones said,

    March 22, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Hello Maria!
    I have been reading your blog tonight and really enjoying it and it was good yesterday chatting about everything yesterday.When you wrote the quote from Clarissa Estes it reminded me of the card you got me once which talks about the remaining tight in the bud becoming more painful than the risk of blossoming…until eventually we have to change. But sometimes i find it hard to see that i have become ‘tight in the bud’ and it can take the words of another or something else to joult me and enable me to see that about myself. Its painful but ultimately brings change…
    I was also looking for the article on Nakedness but couldnt find it, could you remind me how i find it again, thanks and top blog!!
    Hope you are well, sending lots of love

  2. luckyloom1 said,

    March 23, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Hi Tracey!

    Me too, Lovely One (the ‘tight in the bud’ stuff) ! Sometimes subtle hints don’t seem to be enough with me. But isn’t it amazing that we can reflect things back to each other, help each other see just what it is we are truly feeling. I am stunned just how much I miss – the ‘Maria’ who is mainly in charge seems to be wearing blinkers and ear plugs most of the time. That clanging sound of reality hitting home can be very painful but it is also the sound of at least the potential beginnings of some sort of liberation and movement. Thank you so much for hugs and the loving chat in the woods – sorry for making you walk miles (at least you got to cuddle and kiss pigs!). It was a lovely Equinox, a lovely ritual.

    Click on Philip’s blog link here. I think the post was about a year ago, so you will need to click back through older posts to around March/April 2008. At that time Philip had been writing lots about the deeper spiritual significance of being naked -do read his posts on this subject, you will understand why I felt inspired to comment.

    Thank you for your comment Pumpkin – I do miss you. Thanks for ‘honking from behind’!

    All my love

  3. trish said,

    March 24, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    “Honking from behind”? I’m glad you two had time for a long chat in the woods.XXXX

  4. luckyloom1 said,

    March 24, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Hi Sweet Cheeks!

    Yes, as in geese honking encouragement at each other from behind when flying together – although we did think it sounded a little euphemistic! Not as bad as ‘have you got any spare seed?’ though – you bad girl!! Hope to see you soon.
    Love and hugs

  5. Christine Croft said,

    March 27, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Loving the blog, much food for thought. “Honking from Behind” brilliant!! xxx

  6. luckyloom1 said,

    March 27, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Chris!

    So glad you’re enjoying it. Yes, ‘Honking from Behind’ came from a lovely article in Touchstone (members’ mag of OBOD) by Belinda Twiggs. In it she writes about Geese flying in the V shape to create an updraft which makes flying easier for all and how we too can aspire to this with each other. I loved the thought of Geese honking from behind to encourage each other to keep going! They are wonderful birds.

    Hope you are well my lovely and enjoying this beautiful spring weather. Will write soon and share news.

    Thinking of you and sending lots of love and hugs

  7. trish said,

    March 28, 2009 at 8:28 am

    I know sometimes i just can t believe what i say. it just comes out!!

    See you soon

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