Along Bow Road

A woman in a niqab bends down to look at a purple allium growing in a grass verge.  She takes a picture of it with her smartphone camera, pausing to line it up…  This was one vision I had whilst walking from Stratford International to Whitechapel.  My son and I had an appointment to hurry to yet I couldn’t help but notice that nature was celebrating.  So much green in the city, wisteria cascading and silken grasses bordering the housing estate blocks.

Whitechapel is a bit rough around the edges, its buildings and green spaces have a semi-abandoned feel.  Including the parks, which are only half-tame and where Irises mingle with nettles.  Not real wilderness here, but still…

People built the ‘Green Bridge’ which crosses Bow Road, but due to a balance of cultivation and ‘laissez-faire’ attitude, plant life is triumphant. We crossed it on our less rushed, return trip to Stratford.  At one point we could only see a sun-baked country lane…

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On the French canals

Well that was Whitechapel, and there was a fair amount of living, breathing green matter there. At least for a city…  Yet in other urban settings and on bits of concrete anywhere, humans replicate the forms of nature.  This anonymous street artist in Auxerre who features in ‘Insolite’ L’Yonne Républicaine does just that.  His/her flower paintings are simple, but full of heart.  There are also the fantastical flowers which grow on walls along the French canals. Then, back to east London, a building facade mirrors the leaf pattern of the London Plane.

Nature soothes us with its sounds and with its beauty.  I could not see the face of the lady on Bow Road, but in that moment, when she was looking at the flower, I knew her.  We were just two humans drawn to the aesthetic and spirit of nature.

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Hiding under the bridge, French canals.

On sabi…

By the way, I believe Whitechapel to be ‘sabi’ (if I have the meaning right). There will be more about this Japanese concept (a new and favourite word) soon. I just want to do a little research first…