view to downtown from Euston Meadow -

Lollygagging In The Urban Wilds

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” 

 Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

It’s a few blocks away from me and half the walk is in getting there, Irish stopping to sniff out the ‘news’ left behind by other four-leggeds, which of course makes the walk more of a meander. 

shnoggin doggin in winter -

So off we go forth to Euston, left, right, left, right, through the village, here a sniff there a sniff, across busy Wharncliffe, and left, and then left again, and off through the scrap metal bit (remnants of the past when this whole area was one great big garbage dump, with scrap dealers and old cars lying around, and who knows what else). Its protected now,  and recognized as significant, and basically because of all that environmental damage that was done in the past, Euston finally can now rest easy, renew, and maybe have a chance to become again what it was before it was abused and misused.  

euston forest panorama -

Many come to nature with expectations, of pristine vista’s devoid of humanity, of grassy meadows and woodsy meanders off the beaten trail, and they ignore these little spaces of becoming. Of a neglected past when their value was merely for a place to put the refuse from our lives, and not as a refuge from our lives, a nook of wild, urban vistas off in the distance. 

“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.” 

Robert Frost
birch leaves in winter -

There is a unique beauty these areas with a checkered past have, that are maybe now still too toxic to build on, but with some management can be left to their own devices, left to go wild, free to be, and isn’t that what we all want? Free to be? 

goldenrod in the snow at euston meadow -

Our current Premier, Doug Ford, Ontario’s very own Trump lite, and of course his next obsession is destroying our fragile wild places, and those trying to be wild. Ontario designated certain green spaces some years back, to stave off the ever advancement of urban sprawl, to protect our watersheds and family farms, and ensure something is left for future generations to enjoy. Course, Ford and all his wealthy cronies, and all the rich suburbian conservatives that rarely if ever venture forth from their white-washed world, and are hell-bent on ripping it all up to fill their coffers with more shekels and they certainly don’t give a rats arse for protecting natural spaces. These areas hold no value for them, just wasted land that they could build something on. 

Climate science and environmental concerns are considered to be, conveniently,  just doctored up by some rose-coloured glasses libtards trying to make money, reflect much? So they have no probs, as Joni Mitchell sang, paving paradise to put in a parking lot

Disgusts me how short-sighted they are, and saddens me that so many areas are going to be lost before we can get rid of this demon spawn and their delusions of grandeur and wrongheaded destruction of anything that gets in the way of making money. 

This movement of alt-right nationalist anger and misinformed notions, at the whim of their destructive blindness, and a complete disregard for the natural world that they somehow have got into their heads is the enemy to be conquered, and somehow not important to the survival of our species. 

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” 

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
Euston Woods - London Ontario -

And so I go for walks, bring my camera, and try to capture some of that beauty that the earth gives us, and share it. Her gifts, her blessings, her snow-covered meadows and leafless majestic trees, her golden grasses poking up through that blanket of whiteness. It’s my best tool, my finest weapon, my sharpest sword to fight this wave of disregard and ignorance that seems to have no mercy for anything that can’t be converted into financial gain. 

There are some that have become imprisoned by their own greed. Their unhappy lives have them angry and fearful, and there are those that would use that towards their own ends. In an ignorance self-imposed, they set out to destroy the very things that could heal them, restore them, and give them what that gigantic TV never can, that new this or that or whatever thing they think will make them better, never ever will. 

“Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty.” 

Albert Einstein
Euston Meadow - Panorama -

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