Saturday, March 28, 2009
Spring, opening time, freedom
Walking through the Grove and in the adjacent streets, I note that it is opening time. The wild flowers and the cultivated ones, the shrubs and trees, of which I try to remember the names, seem every day to attract attention with new blossoms. Camellia is out, so are the white, crowded bunches of bell-shaped pieris flowers, the close knit heads of creamy spirea, blatant, untidy, forsythia, and on the ground daisies, dandelions and lesser celandine; and as I look up I see that the horse chestnut buds are opening, in the centre of each an embryo candle, green and tightly packed for the moment.
There are lot of activities - playing a musical instrument or singing in tune for example - which I know that I will never master, but wish, in an imaginary world, that I could. Now there is another to add to the list - Parkour or the L'art du deplacement, or the Art of movement. Someone is talking about it this morning on the radio. It is a new and intriguing skill, usually applied in urban settings and developed in France. It involves climbing walls, running along the top of them, leaping structural spaces, behaving a bit like a cat, almost but not quite flying. It requires no kit other than light clothing and good pair of trainers. It is similar but apparently, according to practitioners, not the same as Free running, defined as: "Getting over all the obstacles in your path as you would in an emergency. You want to move in such a way, with any movement, as to gain the most ground on someone or something, when escaping from it or chasing towards it." Both have entries in Wikepedia, but I cannot spend too long reading them because they excite a friskiness which is beyond the capacity of my old limbs, and thereby induce melancholy.