England's green and pleasant land

I realise it is an unfashionable cliché, but I am in England and it feels like coming home. I was born in London, so perhaps that is a good enough excuse for feeling an attachment to the motherland.

What I love about England’s green and pleasant land is the evidence of layer upon layer of people working with the natural landscape. Worn, comfortable buildings that have been re-purposed over the centuries as monasteries, hospitals, schools and libraries. Tiny rooms, cobbled streets, ivy growing on walls, wildflowers on river banks. I also love witnessing the reversal of British imperialism as people from Britain’s old colonies have gathered here in their millions to produce a new culture.

I feel surrounded by signs that power is always temporary; and that people and nature can grow together in, if not exactly harmony, at least an always changing tapestry. It shows that the infinite game eventually overlays our finite endeavours. It is harder to grasp this in the new world where the environment is marked by people bulldozing their way through nature at a speed impossible at the time Europe was first inhabited.

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