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Cracks in Reality
All the stuff in between
25 February 2020 . 3min read

The other day I was taking a slow amble. I was in my car, not on foot, across the Fens. It was a tiny road, bordering on a track, bordering on a bridleway. Anyway, I remembered driving down this very road some 30 years before; it was equally narrow then, but there were two things I noticed.

(1) The road surface was certainly rougher. It was sunken on one side, which, being as I was in the Fenland, wasn't entirely surprising, and had its fair share of potholes.

(2) It had grass growing in the middle of the road.

Now, as I remember driving down this road, at some speed it has to be said, I didn't remember the green smudge down the centre of the road. I remember the green smudge of the hedges each side of the road, as I whizzed by them.

It obviously got me thinking; which I'm sure you guessed it would. In true overthinking fashion, I checked a map from 1700 of the Fenland in question. Which, by the way, you can get from the wonderful Old Maps Online website. It showed a track that follows the same route as the road, which is kind of cool. Anyway, whilst I'm sure it was then more of a track than a road, I expect it was well worn.

Back in the early late 80s/early 90s, it had obviously got upgraded to a winding strip of tarmac, but it still had an appropriate amount of traffic. The grass before me suggested that had changed.

Now, I'm certainly not an expert on how long it takes to grow grass in the middle of a road, but I'm guessing it is slightly longer than a rain shower and a couple of weeks.

As I continued to car-amble, I wondered what had changed, which then got derailed by a new thought; how much better the road looked.

Previously, it was just a small road. Now it was a road with some wildlife embedded into it; much more interesting. As I drove around the bend, I found myself being careful about not driving over the grass in the middle.

Time had moved the tarmac blandness, into an organically rich environment. It was delightful.

It got me thinking, again. What other stuff in our lives has space between them?

As I was over-ponding this very thought, I glanced out at the patio outside. Again, there was a glorious array of green stuff growing between each slab. Our instinct is to clear that all away, to jet wash the patio clean. Sure, that would look newer, but would it be better?

Another couple of examples, less physical in nature.

There is a moment, just before you fall asleep, that is calm and warm and, dare I say, fluffy. Just as you pass from the conscious into the land-of-nod. You also get the wonderful feeling as you wake up, when there isn't an alarm clock shouting at you, of being in an almost-dream-state.

Both those have a certain mystic to them. They feel a little other-worldly. Well, to me they do.

My point? Well, my point is that I often spend far too much time thinking and worrying about stuff. There is a need to identify the stuff, to polish the stuff, to think and decided about the stuff, to do something positive and pro-active about the stuff.

I'm thinking that I should spend more time thinking and enjoying those magical things between the stuff.

There are all kinds of textures around. I like to take a moment here and there to look at them.


Profile photo of Nigel Derbyshire

I'm a carbon-unit who writes; a Carbon Writer. Life & culture are my default topics, mixed with a little English wit & sarcasm. Full of mostly true stories, I occasionally remember to write them down. Found in a crowd, or contemplating in a corner. Habit of talking to anyone. Author.
- Nigel Derbyshire