Day Five

Holmwood Common

Walking on the common this morning it struck me that my life tends to revolve around commitments, diary entries, planned get togethers. I was going through the mental process of regretting the loss of concerts, theatre trips, a planned visit to the Hay festival, get togethers with friends and so on, while being aware that these things pale in significance compared to threats to health and livelihood, when it occurred to me that I now have an empty diary. No thinking ahead to what the week will bring, no anticipation, ‘wishing your life away’ as my grandmother used to say.

That sounds like a prelude to misery, and certainly I’ll be delighted to get back to that life, but I felt strangely at peace with it. Time to reflect and be creative, to see what benefit can be derived from an enforced change, and how that might impact the future.

I was looking at one of the ponds (pictured) – much of the common is a quagmire with lots of lying water and small ponds. The mud and clay mean the ponds are not very inviting, except to dogs, but there’s a whole ecosystem there about which my knowledge is very limited. To my eyes it looked a mess – the photo is flattering – but from the mess springs life. Maybe over the next few weeks I’ll find out more about that life.

Tony Earnshaw

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