online: 11 june 2004
modified: 11 june 2004

10 june 2004 a walk (directed by chance)

19:43 A seat looking down on the hockey field. There is no one here at the moment.

I came by an unfamiliar route - a chance process kept me to the western edge of the heath and now it's brought me to this seat on the northern edge of the hockey ground - it's surrounded by tall trees... The tallest one, an oak, is about 30 metres high.

This is, I think, the 15th year of my walking here and 3rd year of this diary.

It's too enclosed for me, this square field within a wall of trees. Where will chance take me if I walk on?

It's taking me through a wood of tall birches and oaks - there is no undergrowth, only short grass. The open spaces between trees are cathedral-like, but much more various than any building. The sunlight, shining on occasional branches and on patches of ground, leaves most of this space in shadow... I can't really describe it, it's so various, so complex.. What I remember of many walks through this piece of woodland is the tallness of the semi-enclosed spaces and the light coming from outside. The whole place is beautiful...

Later: I stood still to watch a young rabbit eating grass about 2 metres from me. It chews very rapidly, about 5 times a second, and it seems to be shivering nervously all over its body at about the same frequency... until a man runs by and it vanishes into a bramble bush.

And now, as I sit on a seat to write this, an older rabbit halts 2 metres away and freezes while it looks at me steadily - before daring to run past.

Station: many people here, the previous train was cancelled...

A tired or resigned-looking woman, with two very active girls of about 8 or 10, stands patiently on the platform while they occupy the only two seats left... until eventually one of them jumps up to do something - and the woman sits down.

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