Day 49 June 3

There’s something easy about chatting to strangers. You feel close to them in a way that you don’t always in longer term relationships. There is no baggage, no history. You chat about dogs; the wonders of living in St Leonard’s. Many are DFLs (down from Londoners) who have a born-again texture to their joy. I remember that same sense of wonder 35 years ago which has been rekindled in this time of apparent deprivation. They talk about the sea, the clean air; but most of all about their dogs and the things dogs get up to; all shared communality. This morning a man with two border collies was being dragged forward by the young one and back by the old one. “Gilbert sit or stay whichever command you like!” he shouted jovially. Gilbert did neither. Later I saw him again and asked if the old one was called Sullivan. “No” he said, ‘but he should be.”

I didn’t get photos of them. I like to snap when nobody is looking. This is all so innocent. And yet… in the other world, the one I collectively inhabit, untold horrors unfold.

In the plant world you see what we call garden flowers standing next to wildflowers and what we call weeds. In truth they all flower so are part of the tribe of that which grows out of the earth. There is no sense of I’m better than you. 

Words give meanings to things that were born wordless. We separate them with our definitions. We learn from the cradle. Mummy says, as you stuff mud into your mouth cos it looks like the mashed up food you eat, “Uh uh. Dirty. Mustn’t eat that.” You talk to a stranger. Mummy runs out and drags you away. You don’t understand but you learn to avoid these things.

They say weeds multiply and their roots kill off the more worthy plants. A poppy is a kind of weed, an interloper. Each year in my tiny garden a poppy or two or more grow in a different spot, or out of the cracks between the well-worn slabs on my walkway, their random seeds impregnating the earth without a by your leave. And I love it. Can’t wait to see what will appear each spring and where. But disharmony injustice, marginalisation of animals, plants trees humans, has at its root cause the idea of one being better than the other. Celebrating difference rather than fearing it is our greatest fear. We’ve learnt to stamp out the different: I’m a flower you’re a weed. No. I live and you live and we are equal. 

What horrors are committed in the name if individuation.

In the park there is a sense of harmony. It is hard to be aggressive surrounded by the all-inclusive sheltering arms of this aspect of Nature. In the jungle I would be afraid. There is savagery there. Fight or fly. But “Man” is supposed to be superior. Man developed reason. 

Some reason..! 

Yet here I am, my senses fed with every step I take; newly born beauties leaning their heads towards me as I pass. 

It is important we keep the balance between that which transports us and the bitter pill of the human story. Removed from an actual event, rather than disempowering ourselves with justifiable anger, we may be of more help by remaining sane, by examining where our own aggression towards those we meet daily lies. The raising of our own awareness and consciousness leaves its energetic imprint on the world. 

As I see it..