|The Brockley Oak at Brockley Grove, Holders Fields|
Rob Cowan's early words in 'Common Ground' resonate with many of us as we struggle to come to terms with 'life's meaning'. We are provoked to read on in search of 'the way' forward, an answer maybe or a coping mechanism; 'Common Ground' encourages us to observe the detail around us and to connect with our local green space.
The map of Edge-land at the beginning of the book provides a simplified snapshot of space around Bilton in Yorkshire, but it could be anywhere, a somewhat timeless image that almost everyone can imagine and one that virtually anyone can draw, no scale or perspective required.
|From 'Common Ground'|
Modern life is an ordeal, and so it was last year and last decade, last century and beyond; life and survival have always been an ordeal, the present is everything, the future a luxury and the past? well, nostalgic for one, and many prominent men and women have very different things to say about the past -
""Every past is worth condemning." Friedrich Nietzsche"
""Only a good-for-nothing is not interested in his past." Sigmund Freud"
The great oak trees speak a different history, one in which we can delve, with a little insight and observation and portions of time. As we are sensitive to seasonal changes and aware of light and temperature variations, a visit to the local oak tree aids a distraction from modern life and draws us into unspecified realms in time and space. Like us, and all species, trees have a heritage.
natural history carries a somewhat broader significance beyond the human record and is defined by The Free Dictionary -