Saturday, December 08, 2007

splash, wet feet, bore

An afternoon walk in the rain, amid splashing drops from the trees, gurgling drains and flowing gutters, awakens the senses.

A young man, whose otherwise bare feet are plunged into a pair of soggy trainers, crosses the road in the rain and gets into his van, which proclaims his profession as chimney sweep.

If I were going to be a bore I would want to be a hellebore. In particular I would choose to be hellborus niger or the Christmas rose with its dark leaves and fragile white blooms. As its name suggests, it flowers very early (or late, if your take it litterally) in the year. Why niger? Because of its black roots. These have been known for centuries as a cure for "mania, insanity and melancholy" The seventeenth century herbalist Gerard believed that a purgation of hellbore is "good for mad and furious men".

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