...as i sit here among tall oaks and beeches i feel a renewed confidence in this walking and diarising, in its simplicity as a way of encountering, even encompassing, 'the whole'... though, as Goethe said (of his play, Faustus)
the whole will always remain a fragment*...and perhaps this is true of everything!
...but now, as the warm wind from the south blows past my cheek, and the last rays of sun shine through the trees, i feel this is as much of the whole as anyone could desire...
the walk here from Kenwood included a steep drop the height of a tall tree down which daring cyclists plunge and don't seem to turn head-over-heels... and about a kilometre along a twisty path beside and between about 6 or 7 small ponds, most of which are overgrown with rushes, reeds, and other water plants that i can't identify...
...eventually i came to a hedge of honey suckle (white, pink and blue) and i bent to experience its gentle fragrance and to taste the nectar at the end of one of its flowers... a large bumble bee was still visiting them. ... then i came to some wild English roses - just before... (i was going to write 'i came to the cricket fields')
...two people, Mary and Tom Mungovan, a mother and her son (she a midwife and he a law student) came to ask me the name of this part of the heath ('the Hampstead Heath Extension')... then we talked for ages about the place, the sky and the sunset, the Hampstead Garden Suburb (august prototype of British suburbia), their origins in Ireland (the name Mungovan occurs only in a particular place in Ireland and also in New York) and my origins on the Welsh coast, which Tom also knew... they are both redheads, as are several in my family...
* Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part One, translated and introduced by David Luke, Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York 1987, page xxvii.
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