Downton Lake

connie water's edge

One of our favourite camping spots used to be on the shores of Downton Lake up at Goldbridge.

connie driftwood

“Our” spot is overgrown now but for many years we would mark the start of summer by setting up a tent on its milky green shores. There is always plenty of driftwood there to keep me entertained and usually we have the place to ourselves.

yoga driftwood connie

While clambering along the shoreline, which is cluttered with logjams, I often reflect on how the valley might have been before the reservoir was built:

Downton Lake

At Downton Lake
the ghosts of trees
float to the beach
at night.

Some are stone smooth
and polished grey;
others are hunched
and gnarled.

They seem to remember
the days when birds
soared over their branches
or roosted nestled in a knothole.

They still feel the hot breath
of autumn wind
and hear the lapping of the lake,
though the roots that held
them down have released them
from their watery grave.

Sometimes if you listen hard
you’ll catch them whispering the past
back to life.

Connie shadows

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