We went for a walk today. We took the same route as we often take – this walk takes us about two and a half hours. We’ve posted a lot of pictures of this already and today was not a day that would be easy to capture with a camera.
As ever, we saw a great deal of wildlife, some of which we could identify and some of which we couldn’t. Despite taking notes. What is, however, beyond doubt, is that many of the cliffs around here are ideal homes for falcons. Which kind of got me thinking about falcons especially since we have seen one or two here.
Back in May this year, after we got back from a trip to Selçuk, we took the bike to Symonds Yat for a long weekend. That place (which is on the Welsh border) is spectacularly beautiful and we were reasonably lucky with the weather. We did a lot of walking. We walked up to Symonds Yat rock where there were a team of volunteers from the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) with telescopes showing people the cliff where the peregrine falcons were nesting. We saw them fly in and out. A couple of days later, walking alone near the base of those cliffs we got a much better view. We felt kind of privileged to have seen these beautiful birds.
A few weeks later, having sold our flat in London, we moved briefly into a studio flat in Baron’s Court – just around the corner from Charing Cross Hospital (part of the Trust I was working for at the time). There we learned that there were a pair of peregrine falcons nesting on the tower block. They had two chicks with them – just like the falcons at Symonds Yat. We got to watch them almost every day. They were particularly active on my way into and home from work.
This makes me think about how oblivious people can be to things that go on around them every day. It reminds me of one of my favourite items in Neil Gaiman’s Books of Magic – the Mundane Egg. It reminds me of the importance of appreciating things we see every day. It reminds me to remember to see infinity in a grain of sand.
Maybe this is coming back to me now because I am living in an unfamiliar environment which is slowly becoming more and more familiar. I do not wish to lose my sense of wonder.