January 3

It has continued very wet and stormy. This morning everywhere was awash with water. In the field opposite a new stream had appeared and up on the Eppynt we could see the silvery shine of streams gushing down from the top. The Cammarch is hugely swollen, swirling around the trunks of trees and threatening to burst out onto the meadow. The Irfon, also, was very full but some way yet from flooding, which, so I have heard, doesn't happen in Llangammarch. It cuts a deep swathe through the earth.

By the next day the rivers were still full but not so torrential. Tonight, however, another storm is forecast.


January 5

A walk by the river with friends. The boys wanted to see the place where I found the salmon. The river was very full and even the beach by the brook had disappeared, but so had all the foam and gunk of pollution.

January 6 Epiphany

The Great Blessing of the Waters

The great blessing of the waters
Today the grace of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended upon the waters.
Today the Sun that never sets has risen and the world is filled with splendour by the light of the Lord.
Today the moon shines upon the world with the brightness of its rays.
Today the glittering stars make the inhabited earth fair with the radiance of their shining.
Today the clouds let fall upon mankind the rain of righteousness from on high.
Today the Uncreated of His own will accepts the laying on of hands from His own creature.
Today the waters of the river are transformed into healing by the coming of the Lord.
Today the whole creation is watered by mystical streams.
Today the transgressions of humanity are washed away by the waters of the river.
Today we have been delivered from darkness and illuminated with the lights of the knowledge of God.
Today the blinding mist of the world is dispersed by the Epiphany of our God.
Today the whole creation shines with light from on high.
Today the Master hastens towards baptism that He may lift humanity up to the heights.
Today He that bows not, bows down to His own servant that He may set us free from bondage.
Today earth and sea share the joy of the world, and the world is filled with gladness.
The waters saw Thee, O God, the waters saw Thee and were afraid.
The River turned back, seeing the fire of the Godhead descending bodily and entering its stream.
The River turned back, beholding the Holy Spirit coming down in the form of a dove and flying about Thee.
The River turned back, seeing the Invisible made visible, the Creator made flesh, the Master in the form of a servant.
The River turned back, and the mountains skipped, looking upon God in the flesh; and the clouds gave voice, marvelling at Him who was come, the Light of Light, true God of true God.
For today in the River they saw the triumph of the Master; they saw Him drown in the River the death of disobedience, the sting of error, and the chains of hell, and bestow upon the world the baptism of salvation.
Today we bless the river in all its goings and all its runnings
Today we bless the water in its life-giving and air breathing
Today we bless the fish in the waters and the trees on the banks
Today we bless Dipper and Mallard and Goosander and Kingfisher and all the birds of the waters
Today we bless all the living creatures of waters, crustacea and snails and larva and eggs
Today we bless the health of the water and thank God for all its goodness and beauty

January 31

We return from holiday in the South Hams where we enjoyed little egrets, gulls, spectacular views from steepling cliffs and the vastness of the ocean. The river is not so full as it was and it is very cold -- the Epynt white with snow although, curiously, there is nothing at all in the valley. When we left for Devon it was very misty and murky but as soon as we got up onto the Epynt we looked down onto the fluffy white mist filling the valleys whilst we were in bright blue sunshine. Spectacular.

Walking by the river we saw a little treecreeper very close by before it disappeared behind the trunk. I have not seen one since the summer. Slipping and sliding along the path the river was very quiet and everything seemed cold and withdrawn, even the catkins on the Alder had turned purple. Then returning alone I saw opposite the little brook two white pebbles gleaming at the bottom of the bank. Looking closer I was sure I saw something move and sure enough there it was, a little beak occasionally interrupting the whiteness of the pebble. It was, of course, the two dippers, their white chests providing better camouflaged than you might imagine. Dippers are generally described as solitary but these two seem to enjoy each other's company even if they do stand at a sedate distance. Walking on I had a very good view of one just beneath my feet. But before that I saw a long-tailed bird on a wire above the water treatment works, I had seen it previously but was unsure what it was. It's profile looked very like a wagtail but it seemed to have no colour but when it flew off and perched in the trees I saw a faint hint of yellow underneath its rump which has made me think it must be a grey wagtail in winter plumage.