Day 25 April 28

After most of the previous day without water due to a faulty pipe in the main resevoir, I woke up this morning to sputtering taps clearing their pipes, much the same as I do first thing before my breath flows smoothly. It was raining and I felt that little slump of disappointment in me after weeks of sunny walks. By 10.30 it had turned to drizzle and off I went. I was immediately struck by the plants: sharp and glistening, as thankful to bathe in water as I had been earlier. 

There were very few people out. I went into the park to visit my favourite tree for a spot of tai chi (an unintentional rhyme). Afterwards I was marvelling at the strange vein-like streaks in its trunk. I hadn’t noticed them before. 

Then at the base was a little patch of foam emanating from the point where trunk met earth. I bent down to look and of course took a photo. As I walked down the path a man with an elderly dog, who was dutifully sniffing at a plant, asked why I was taking a photo of the trunk base. I confessed to being curious. He said there was probably some damage and this was the sycamore’s reaction. Sycamore! I hadn’t known! Now my favourite tree had a name! We talked at distance for a while as he waited for his 18 year old dog to finish her foraging. “She doesn’t like to come out” he told me. He spoke wistfully, as though feeling the imminent loss of her and, perhaps too, of his excuse for leaving his 4 walls behind to dwell awhile in this – Nature’s open-plan house.

I love this peek into people when they reveal quite unintentionally a good heart, a passion, a sensitivity that calls to me on a deep level. This is real connection. 

I stopped to look at the drops of rain fanning out between the lily pads on the little lake then on to the seafront and a half tide with 4 cormorants lording it, each on their own reptilian rock. And finally this lone man gazing out to sea.

Rain. Water. Sea. Connections. Where would we be without them?