Londoners love our parks – most of us live fairly close to one (I once heard that we had more parks per capita than any other city, but that may have been another of my mother’s stories!), but there are a lot of them and each one is utterly individual. We live close to Ruskin Park and usually I am there as part of a run or walking through the park to or from a train or bus. Hurrying. Going somewhere.
I’m usually going somewhere, doing something. I’m not very skilled at taking time off or not working or not doing, but yesterday afternoon I went for a walk. A really slow walk. I’ve been listening to the podcast Philosophize This (which I really like because it’s enthusiastic, engaging and not at all academic – also Stephen West loves Simone de Beauvoir, so that works for me) and the next podcast that came up (I listen randomly) was on Thoreau. Walden Pond. Living deliberately. Civil Disobedience.
I was walking deliberately. A conscious choice to be there, to see the park, to be aware of being me seeing the park. I stopped a lot. I felt in my own skin. Mindfulness, running, therapy – at the moment, I’m feeling closer to being in my own skin, all of me, fully me, more often, than I can recall, perhaps ever. This too shall pass, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts. Noticing it while it lasts. (Noticing that noticing sometimes makes it pass.)
And I took these photos of close up things. Crouching, bending, stretching to get to their level. Paying attention to the light and the colour. Autumn is a glorious season.