Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Quiet of London Parks

Yesterday morning, I had planned on going out to the Yorkshire countryside, but I woke up to a dozen different text messages and emails telling me that Ike Skelton had passed away.  I spent the morning watching online videos of Ike's old speeches and reading former colleagues' Facebook tributes to him.  By the time I left my flat, it was too late in the day for a trip out to the countryside to be worthwhile.  But London is loud, and I needed some quiet.
So I trudged deep into Kensington Gardens, past the Palace, past the Serpentine lake, past the formal gardens.  I watched birds flit around the tall grass and dogs stalk squirrels amongst the fallen tree limbs.

I walked over to Holland Park, made my way down paths lined with red and yellow leaves, and wandered past bench after bench inscribed with tributes to deceased loved ones.
Then I found my way to Battersea Park and got lost over and over again in its towering trees and overgrown bushes.  Eventually, I popped out of the park, practically on top of the Thames.  As I stared at the swift current of the river, racing eastward, out to the North Sea; I wondered, did Ike know how deeply we admired him, how profoundly he shaped our lives?

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