On the road there is a linden tree, this is where I first rested to sleep, Under this linden tree, who blew his blossoms over me… [Gustav Mahler transl.]
Sometimes, having a car breakdown on you is a blessing in disguise.
I was forced to walk from a friend’s house the other day, and feel it did me a lot of good to move through the world at walking pace, allowing every sense to work, including my balance. Not only can you stop and taste things along the way, but you can populate your map of the world to the most minute and dynamic level – here’s where there are rowan trees, that rowan tree has the best berries, today those buds are showing… You need your judgement, you are autonomous, immediate. The sense of ownership and pride, power actually, that this germinating knowledge gives, seems to me to be a strong matrix for belonging.
It made me think what a valuable thing we have given up in return for travelling greater distances in shortening times; daily learning, rootedness with a constant refresh setting, personalisation, localisation.
I know when the car is fixed I will jump straight into it and off we go again; I’ll only watch this world rapidly receding in the rear view mirror. But somewhere in an innocent and ancient corner of my soul, I’ll miss it.