I went to my old stamping ground today - to pale streets softened by oak and elm, skies filled with hills. There, the air is different. Its wind stories are different. I felt like myself again walking through it. And I came away wondering how much of us is inside stuff, and how much outside. In other words, are our selves perhaps a relationship, a conversation we are having not only with our own minds and muscles and memories, but with the breeze and local trees and the land's contours? Who I am in my current neighbourhood beside the sea is very different from who I am in the oak shadows.
When I returned from there, I was greeted at the threshold of my village by a gaping brown space where a beautiful elm had stood only yesterday. They kill so many trees here. I don't understand them. How can anyone thrive when surrounded by soulless concrete and glass? What are they doing to their selves as they converse so contemptuously with the environment?
For a little while I got to whisper away with wild pansies and wonky hedges, grey breezes, old luxuriant trees. It changed how my muscles moved and heart dreamed. Maybe I shall go again next week.