Thursday, April 06, 2006

London Blooms. Spirit Lifting

London blooms. Not just the random patch of crocuses. Not the occasional courageous daffodil. Trees and bushes - cherry and forsythia. Two days of warmth and sunshine lift moods. People begin to connect. It’s 6:30 and the sun isn’t rapidly sliding to the horizon.

And we returned to our pond at Haggerston Park.

Ponds are magical places. There is something about a manageable body of water in the middle of green space. It says, rest awhile. It says, anything can happen. It says, there are more worlds than you remember.

Winston and I spent our entire day there. It’s funny, how even grown men see a pond and say, I need a stick. This happened five times today. Grown men would walk by the pond and everyone of them said, I need a stick. Then, they would look around, get a stick and plunge it into the pond. There is something about ponds that makes boys want a stick to poke into it.

In the nearby wooded patch, an installation artist was installing a piece. She put a door in the middle of the path leading into the woods. We watched her digging the holes yesterday. Today, Winston watch her place the door frame and then the door. He helped her spread leaves around the newly dug Earth, so that the door looked like it had been there for awhile. Winston had a great time helping.

Once the door frame was put in place, people would actually walk through it on their way in. They could have easily gone around it. But, everyone we observed used the door frame. I thought it was a fantastic idea. How something so simple as a door - even in the middle of a wood - evokes the same response.

But, most importantly, the newts have returned to our pond. The frogs have come and spawned. Their little bubbles of babies float in the murky brown water. The algae is thick and green. And the newts are frolicking - as they do in April. We saw two types of newt today - Smooth and Palmate. Delightful little amphibians - some have orange or yellow spotted bellies, others have plain yellow belly. It made me wish for a copy of The Sneeches. They were living so happily together in the pond. There were snails and water spiders which we’d find in the net mixed into the algae. Blackbirds strutted about and the occasional raven came to observe (in the event we found something interesting to it.)

Walking home tonight Winston said, “We had a great adventure today.”

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