Notes from the Botanic Gardens, November 9 2008

This is the one place in Oxford where I always feel that I am on the inside, looking out.

The river is green, the trees are yellow.

What is it about a garden? All around me are signs of Autumnal decay--a wet and barren landscape, the scratching of leaves against a cold ground. And yet I think that, in the presence of things which have grown, will grow, we can suddenly believe that we, too, grow.----There in the murky pool we see peace, or hope, or both; our thoughts become un-crowded, we start to believe in the permanence of the trees and the transience of all else. We have a clouded sense of happiness--not perfect, or impure, but unusually tangible.

(I go for a run today. The sky is heavy, the grass has turned a deeper shade of emerald, and the yellow leaves have all fallen from the tree outside the study window. Every season is the most beautiful season, here.)