Saturday, 20th December 2003
Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary
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frost has melted and for most of the day we have rain. It's so gloomy
that everything looks worn, wet and tawdry. The river is as dour
and slickly lustrous as gun-metal, stippled by litter in the shallows.
when I see the luxuriant Christmas tree which has been set up on
the roadside verge what strikes me is how its lights are draped
around the top: while it celebrates the magic of the winter solstice
(I think of the tree as representing the pagan side of Christmas)
it's also a statement about the routine nature of vandalism: lights
around the bottom of the tree wouldn't last long.
The generous, creative, renewing spirit of Christmas - of the winter
solstice - is, potentially, within all of us but that relentlessly
destructive urge is never far away either, always seeking to destroy
what others might take pleasure in or find useful (the bus shelter
has just been repaired from an attack a few weeks ago).
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