online: 3 april 2003
modified: 4 april 2003

3 april 2003 sitting still

18:54 I've been sitting for twenty minutes beneath an ageing willow in the little valley beyond pond 3. I came because it is a place in which one can hear the sounds of birds but not of traffic.

Some minutes ago I heard an owl hoot twice - although it is still daylight. And just now I heard a wood pigeon. I can see some daffodils growing amongst decayed grasses, dead stalks of tall plants and fallen willow branches.

Beneath and around me are mossy logs and new nettle leaves and brambles. Ivy also - growing along the ground and over the fallen, or slowly falling, trees. A few new trees are growing vertically upwards but most of the trees here are old and twisty. Very few people come here - the ground looks swampy at a distance but today it is dry enough to walk on. Yes it's a quiet spot and I feel myself becoming more alive and peaceful as I sit here. I had been feeling tired... and disturbed.

19:15 Now the light begins to fade as we enter another night here on earth. I can't hear any birds, or traffic - only aircraft. Two people run by and look curiously at me as they pass...

The air is cooling beneath an almost clear sky - and so am I. So I take leave of the trees and other plants that will remain here all night, and for the rest of their lives, and get up to go to the train and to the room in which I spend most of my time... And as I wrote that I realised that I am nearly as immobile as a tree or a plant. Our sedentary lives. So many places to which we could go and so few to which we do. Surely the natural life of people is nomadic?...

Sometimes I feel like staying out all night with the animals and plants. One day I may do it.

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© 2003 john chris jones

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