Sunday, November 06, 2005


In the years that I have lived in this part of London, my local patch of common, just 5 minutes walk from my home, has been a principal point of reference. I try and visit at least once a week to re-charge amidst the solid, reassuring oak trees and to connect with the seasonal changes; just now the expanses of grass and scrubland are framed by the yellow, russet, green and red tones of the autumn leaves, sometimes against a background of the bluest of blue skies.

More than in many open spaces in the metropolis, the powers that be have allowed some pockets of relative wilderness to remain here; in certain spots, in spite of the proximity of road, rail and suburban sprawl, you can imagine yourself far away from the city.

Noted at various times: herons motionless by the ponds; ducks nesting; squirrels chasing each other through the oak trees; horses and riders; silver birches with branches tossing to and fro in the wind; rustling, leafy trails through the woods; acorns crunching underfoot; cow parsley in summer; a grove of willows; blackberries ripening; glowing red-orange rose hips entwined with old man's beard; the common at sunrise covered in snow, frozen and silent; and once, I think, a kestrel.

I never tire of it.


Blogger Sonia said...

How lucky you are for living near a such beauty! Have a nice Sunday!

1:00 pm  
Blogger Jean said...

I identify with this so much, and you write about it beautifully. You don't need pictures.

7:58 pm  
Blogger Jean said...

I identify with this so much, and you write about it beautifully. You don't need pictures.

7:58 pm  
Blogger MB said...

Nor would I tire of it. It's beautiful. I'm glad you have it nearby! I read a poem recently at DarkSparks in which Ken describe the dreariness of city life and it made me think how dreadfully important - vital, in all sense of the word - the grass that grows through the sidewalk is to us all. I think some of us just recognize that more readily than others.

9:07 pm  
Blogger Michael Manning said...

Mary: Reminds me of my soon to be 86 year old Aunt. She returned from Bulgaria and today, as when I lived there for a summer, cnstruction crews who discover ruins will stop work and call in Archeologists. In many instances they changed blueprints to alter an expressway around a site of ruins. Not quite what you mention, but I'm glad your neighborhood has some sensitivity to natures beauty. Nice web site BTW! I'll look around here!!

8:26 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Thanks all.

Moose: That's one hell of a poem over at DarkSparks. 21st Century city life indeed. Thank you for pointing me to it.

Michael: Fortunately this common, and others like it in London, are protected by law against development. Otherwise they'd be long gone, the demand for property being what it is.

7:02 pm  
Blogger moira said...

Wonderful. It's amazing what even a small patch of nature will do for peace of mind. Where I used to work, in the middle of a huge business district in San Diego, there was a tiny little copse of trees near our building. It only took gazing out over it to pull things back into perspective a bit.

7:40 pm  
Blogger Sonia said...

Thanks Mary for leaving your nice comment on my blog today! I always appreciate it! You are welcome!

9:03 pm  

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