Monday, January 10, 2005

An Afternoon in the Park

I met up with some friends this afternoon, at The Curator's House cafe/restaurant in the Botanical Gardens. I've not been down there much recently, during the major re-ordering of the park. Part of me wanted to go regularly, to see the gradual changes of a work-in-progress; another part of me wanted to resist the temptation to 'peek' before it was completed - and I guess that's the part that won out.

Which I regret now. David Ducker and I got there before the others we were meeting, and decided we'd take a walk round. They've been really brave, clearing away a lot that has grown up over the years, creating much more light and space, resulting in some great views. It looks fantastic - I really wish that I had my camera with me. And David has been coming down regularly to see it all unfold...

I was struck by something I heard him say yesterday: that we have a 'built-in' desire to discover treasure (consider the audience-ratings of programmes such as Time Team or Cash In The Attic); and that treasure is often to be un-earthed in the field of relationships - treasure that is often in need of a good clean before it can be identified and truly appreciated, or accurately valued, but treasure nonetheless. We might want to by-pass all the mud, and come back when the treasure is nicely polished and protected in a glass case (or when the Gardens are restored to their original glory). But (even if that were possible) to do so would be to miss out on more than we could imagine. Because there is a wealth of riches waiting to be uncovered in each other, by each other; and there's something about the discovery that nothing else can quite match...

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