online: 19 may 2005

19 may 2005 walking again

19:27 Arrived at Parliament Hill soon after rain to find no one here but for a solitary crow and myself. My first heath walk since being in hospital. Low grey clouds today - the tallest building at Canary Wharf seems to be touching them. The seats are wet so i'm sitting on a plastic bag. Athletes are running long and short distances on the track below. I'm beginning to sneeze in this damp air so i decide to continue walking... the crow has already gone.

19:40 ...i walk through 'the dark wood' and stop to look at a chestnut tree already in flower - and already many white petals have fallen. All the trees are in leaf now and some of the long grass is already mown.

...after meandering in dense woodland i pass a tall red chestnut from which many red petals have also fallen to the ground...

...i've climbed a low hillock to experience the first sunlight i've seen today... it's illuminating a copper beech and several large insects that are flying below it... close beside me are some long uncut grasses (some with green seeds) and blackberries already in bud. i'm here i longer feel like an invalid and am so glad to be among the trees and in the wet wind...

...i see now (as i sit waiting for a train) that my good health is a gift or a consequence of walking, most days, beneath clouds, among trees, and by water... indoor life is a deprivation (adapted to it as we are)... but there are far too many of us now for full-time outdoor living to be resumed... i'm one of the lucky ones... but it's not just luck - to come here as often as i do takes time, and effort, and a determination to live within a short distance.

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