Tuesday 29 May 2012

Speaking up for the Gutter

We are all in the gutter, quipped Oscar Wilde, but some of us are looking at the stars. As if there were some virtue in looking at the stars. Personally, when I raise my eyes to the starry heavens, I feel much as Pascal did about the eternal silence of those infinite spaces. I would rather not know that what I'm seeing is the faint emanation of meaningless events occurring at unimaginably remote distances in space and time. There are better, more heartening things to be seen by looking down, even in the gutter. This morning, as I strolled along my road, I spotted - in the gutter - a small clump of rather beautiful yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers happily growing there (despite the best efforts of the municipal weed exterminators). I think they are some kind of Monkey Flower (pictured). How they got there heaven knows - presumably as a garden escape - but if I hadn't had my eyes on the gutter, I'd never have seen them, and my morning would have been the poorer.