Lines through the greensward

I’ve been walking lately. To university, to the co-op, and home again: along Sullivan’s Creek I go, sort of following the bike path and generally veering off and strolling quietly through grassy, damp, tree-lined avenues. It’s nice, as nice as anything really, these quiet moments of stillness amongst the green, and I notice the small things: bark on the trees, the slope of the ground and suchlike.

This being Canberra, there are trees in lines. The lines don’t always line up, but they’re there and usually in pairs: an avenue of oaks, or poplars, or whatever it might be. Very impressive, these tree-lined walks, very imposing at times or at least strongly suggestive of the fact that they were intentional. It’s a shame I don’t like them.

Which is my point this evening: I don’t like trees all in a line like that. I try to, honestly, I do try to. I want to enjoy the order and symmetry, the purposeful majesty that those early Canberra planners liked to sprinkle around our city, but I just find it rotten when it comes down to it. I don’t like walking through them.

When it comes down to it, I say, and down is what I mean: down to a personal, human, small, easy level, one which a human on foot can comprehend. Great sweeping monuments to human ingenuity are not made for humans! The small things are, and a small, winding path through the trees makes me smile.

God smiles on those strolling through the woods.

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