God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, "Ah!"
|(That was a Joseph Campbell quote, in case you wondered)|
Today Mum took me to Brandon Country Park which is a pretty green place near here that nobody seems to know about. It's free to park there, they have a coffee shop, toilets and the paths are pretty good for wheelchairs. Not all of them, but you can have a pretty good 'walk' there on the flat.
Like I say, a hidden gem and thus today, on a sunny day in the school holidays, there was nobody about.
There are a couple of massive trees there. Our American and perhaps particularly our Canadian cousins will be decidedly unimpressed with a rather young Redwood and whatever this one on the left is (you can see my 5'11" mother wandering off to the right, for scale). I must admit I did check nobody was looking, kicked off my shoes, got up out of the wheelchair and attempted to climb it. But these are big kickass trees for the South of England.
The woods are haunted by some chap in a deer-stalker, but he wasn't about today. There is a mausoleum of the family that used to own the land and tree documenting the relationship of Janie and Hally. Writing carved into the bark reads Janie + Hally, 1983 Feb., Jan 86.
My Mum decided that Janie and Hally had been happily in love during the spring of 1983, but three years later Hally had brutally murdered Janie and buried her body beside the tree on which their names were inscribed. My Mum has that sort of imagination.
We saw some squirrels, a Jay, the most enormous black slug you ever did see. On the way home a stoat crossed the road in front of the car. I had to look it up to know it was a stoat as opposed to a weasel, and learnt that in Japan, a stoat is a sign of good luck.
It was a very nice couple of hours; it is so good to be out in green places. Sara wrote about this last week in Green is the Meaning. Seahorse has also been enjoying the great outdoors in Shropshire.
It was also nice to be with my Mum and talk about nonsense. I managed to breach the sticky issue of the big bad family secret which I had inadvertently divulged to someone. It is a rather pathetic big bad family secret, something which has had shame heeped upon it where there ought to be no shame (someone did do something naughty, but nothing injurious to another person and it was over fifty years ago). Fortunately Mum was only slightly surprised that that someone hadn't known already. Which was a relief.