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My Diary

A trip to the park



Although the sun was out, it was cold enough for the thicker jacket which I zipped up. I had my IPOD playing songs from an old A. R. Rahman composed film soundtrack and felt full up from the chicken curry which I had just had the good fortune to sample for lunch and which I had eaten with two wholegrain pitta breads. As I was eating the curry, I had been surprised by its beautiful flavours and had wondered to myself whether it was one of the best curries I had had the pleasure to taste.

I entered the park and walked over to the flock of geese and pigeons. The pigeons were all massed around the base of a tree and were wrestling over a morsel of bread. The geese were playing games of attack and defence with each other. I watched one lunge forwards like a duellist and the other jumped into the air and flapped its wings, jumping clean over the aggressor. I thought of how the scene would have looked like between human combatants in an action movie. Perhaps with a superhero with wings, it could have looked quite spectacular.

I switched off the music so that I could connect with the tranquillity of the space. I wandered through the built gardens and spent a while looking over the flowers, wondering about the structures of these beautiful objects. I was making a note of how much reasoning had gone into constructing our current notions of the things. The flower I began with was of a moderate size and with thin and purple petals. I wondered if the coloration attracted insects or if it had some other purpose. I then spent a while imagining how long it had taken humans to realise the full import of the fact that insects and butterflies feasted on the nectar and how the feeding connected the flowers together in a chain of reproduction. My eyes traced the flight of a white butterfly as I did so and then my mind leapt to the astonishing metamorphosis of the caterpillar into the final product. Nature was full of miracles, I reminded myself. Its miracles happened on a daily basis.

I briefly entertained the thought of taking another route, but then instead I walked along the stream and noted that there were lesser birds than usual in the swim. They were lounging around on the grass, apparently snoozing. I looked over one. It was a goose with a black head tucked into its rear feathers on the side and it had its black eye open and was staring at me.

There was a place in the park a little way off from the stream where two big trees had been felled and were lying next to their stumps. The first stump was surprisingly bereft of wood. It had been invaded by a large, rust coloured fungus and some wretches had unceremoniously dumped rubbish down into the open space. The other stump was solid and I climbed up it. I felt a great feeling of power although I was only a few feet off the ground. The stump had been cut in such a way that it had steps to one side of it leading to the tree. I climbed the little, useless and irrelevant steps onto the trunk and walked alongside it. I wanted to know how much traversing the trunk was a challenge to the brain, as it was a challenge to figure out where to step and what steps to trust. The trunk had to be broken down into a journey of one step at a time.

I made my way to where the stream had thickened into an ornamental bird pond. A squirrel ran past me. Lately, I have seen children as squirrels and squirrels as children, full of energy and high spirits, full of curiosity. This one appeared to scrutinise me closely for any signs of food and then, nose twitching, went off past me. I noted the pigeons nesting in the same clump of trees by the water in what again appeared to be sleep as I sat down on the bench facing the pond. Perhaps they were offered protection from the predators by the arboreal spaces.

I sat for just a few moments, feasting on the open expanse of water and contemplating how the tiny droplets adhered together to make such a significant and poetically beautiful mass and then began the walk out of the park. As I passed by the smaller pond again, I looked into the shimmering ripples of water. They were intensely beautiful and I felt as if I was being sucked into a whirlpool at the heart of reality. They seemed impossible to represent, full of movement and subtlety and with an effect on vision which was magical.



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