online: 14 january 2012
modified: 13 january 2012

13 january 2012 near perfect stillness

Seven Sisters ponds

...near perfect stillness beside one of seven ponds... bare trees and sky reflected by the water surface... distorted by long wavelength ripples of very low amplitude (about 30cm apart and only a millimetre or so high) from no discernible source... ...a large fat robin visits this its territory but it does not speak... two ducks appear and set going shorter wavelength ripples of greater amplitude... while high above loud jet engines broadcast sounds of much higher frequency to every spot within a zone some kilometres in all directions... this cold but sunny day...

...i breathe in deeply and glance directly at the not very dazzling sun and listen to the sound of a light aircraft, cars and dog and duck, and now a loud flapping as one duck chases another one from water surface into the air and the surrounding trees... and for a moment all or most sounds cease and the sight of bare branches and fallen bullrushes predominates... he straightens his back and prepares to walk away...

...on my way through forest of Sandy Heath i pass another pond that's also still and reflecting cloudless sky seen through bare branches while a dog barks in the near distance... and i see that the tree beside me is clothed in ageing bark which is itself a home or city to two kinds of moss... one yellowy-green the other blue-green... and composed of smaller elements, not leaves.. i do not know the words with which to describe these mosses and lichens (or other micro-plants)... yet i suppose they are among the oldest living things... from which we all evolved... at which i am reminded of another statement of Charles Sherrington*:
...perceiving mind and perceived world... Nature in evolving us makes them two parts of the knowledge of one mind and that one mind our own. We are the tie between them. Perhaps we exist for that.
* Sir Charles Sherrington, O.M., Man on His Nature, the Gifford Lectures, 1937-8, Edinburgh, Cambridge University Press. London 1951, page 257.)

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