Away from the estuary, the long, straight stretch of water channelled along the edge of the bog, draining it into the sea.
Away from this along a winding stream rippling over a stony bed, rushing towards its salty end.
Back from this through the tunnel of trees, or so it seems in summer when the leaves hang heavy over the water.
But now – in spring – the winding river meandering this way and that between wooded banks is lighter, airier, less mysterious. Leaves are unfurling but not yet luxuriant.
Even so its enchantments are a joy to the heart: anenomes in hollows along the edge, sunlight falling on glittering rapids or glazing deep pools in slow-moving channels with yellow-green light.
Walking upstream into this place is like walking into a dream, a vision of the blessed realm, but here tangible, in space and time, the world we know, enclosing and enduring.
Step by step I pace the river; the river runs on. But the path falters, losing itself in a sea of aromatic wood garlic leaves. I have to leave the river, climb a steep bank away from the flow into a field.
Bereft of the river now. The field is empty but the river rushes on beneath the trees, a hidden mystery.
I cross the field to a lane. Then walk on another way to find her again flowing beneath an old stone bridge. I pause as I cross but cannot recover the sense of travelling to a hidden country. The road home is hard and I tread it heavily.