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I fell in the canal on Sunday last. It wasn’t deliberate – at the time I was trying to turn round in a canoe so as to be sociable with my brother while drinking a cup of coffee. What happened was classic: I held onto the bank for support, the boat floated away from the bank, there was a moment when I realised ‘I’m going to fall in!’ and then, indeed, I fell in.

The Kennet & Avon canal near Avoncliffe is not famed for its crystal waters. It was muddy and cold. I stood up, spluttered a bit and then found to my surprise that I wasn’t feeling embarrassed or angry, just extremely wet. Luckily my brother had stopped the canoe turning over, so I was able to have some coffee, strip off most of my wet things and climb into my Driza-Bone coat which covered my confusion more than adequately. I then got back into the canoe and we paddled cheerfully back to Midford. I had a great time. We’re doing it again in a fortnight (without the ducking, hopefully).

In Druidry the element of water is connected with feelings and emotions. Working with the element of water we explore our feelings and how we relate to the world. My unexpected bath on Sunday revealed something most unexpected and very welcome – I didn’t feel silly. In spite of doing the classic pratfall, I was able to shrug it off with a laugh and get on with what I was doing. Maybe, at nearly 49, I am finally growing up.

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