Spring feels like it’s almost here. Green shoots, buds, birds twittering – and the sun high enough in the sky, yesterday, to get over the building line; lighting up and warming a corner the quadrangle where I work. I stood in that couple of metres squared of sun yesterday – for a minute or two – which warmed my face and the cockles of my heart.
A couple of weekends ago (adding to my Christmas bonsai and January’s tiny cactuses from Amazon) I potted up some tiny fragments from a tray of forgotten succulents. They were struggling through the winter under a tree, in our slightly unloved back garden.
All five of them have taken root. Now they are catching stray photons of weak sunlight on top of a chest of drawers, happily converting carbon dioxide into sugars and plumping up nicely.
Much like children; I’m learning – helping a few plants to grow near you is a constant joy.
Sat on the Tube, in a bit of a rush, I spotted a smartly dressed chap opposite; a little older than me, he had a very smart pair of turquoise/green socks on display.
Following Thich Naht Hahn’s advice I reflected on ‘interdependence’ – all the things that had gone into those socks…
The dye, the chemists from Du Pont who almost certainly created the colour and the designers who adopted that shade; the makers, buyers and then the retailers who chose to make and stock them; the man himself – probably on the internet – who thought they were a particularly fetching shade… And that’s just the colour.
From my time in branding and advertising, I know that colour was probably selected for this year’s palate about 7 years ago somewhere in Paris. And that’s before we get into the myriad machines, the power sources materials (natural and man-made) lorries, ships, trains and more which made and moved them.
The whole world in a pair of socks… Then screech, beep, swoosh, ‘mind the gap’ and back out into London life.
We packed off my daughter (at 3am) this morning on her first ever ski trip – which as I was dozing back off made me think of mine… Almost the same age, I remember the flight: reading Smash Hits with Annie Lenox on the cover, listening to my (vast) Sanyo Walkman, wearing my silver C&A ski jacket as we flew over the Alps about 35 years ago.
As my dad reminded me this morning the catch phrases of my Italian ski instructor have become family lore: “Hey Disaster Boy!”, “Don’t bend your botham”, “Knees to the mountain, shoulders to the vaa-lley.” It’s bitter sweet seeing her all grown up, but it certainly brings back memories.
As the book I’m reading points out – you don’t need to be sat in silence to really notice and enjoy what’s going on around you. Especially at this time of year.