Off Kilter

Cambridge walk

We like to walk across the meadow and across the road and down this avenue of London Plane trees, and then along the river and around to the punts and the bridge over the River Cam.

There are no skyscrapers on the horizon; there are lovely old buildings in the town; and in going to this spot we do what humanity does for the most part. That is to find a place that is pleasant and to cast the unpleasant bits out of one’s mind.

Something happened this summer though, with the hot days going on and on and the grass turning a pale yellow.

The branches on some trees, even mature trees, are drooping and are plainly in need of rain.

So the sun cannot be enjoyed fully. It carries a reminder or a message that things are off kilter.

You eye everything, feeling that the very ground on which you walk is betrayed.


  1. Joan E. Miller says:

    So true. Trees do get stressed. I see leaves dropping already. In some places, the city sends water trucks around to water trees in public spaces. That must be done in order to save their investment in the plants. I love London plane trees.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It rained a little this evening. Not much though, and not enough to make a dent in this parched land.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. reb says:

    Yes. Something is very wrong in many areas of this planet. The heat warnings keep popping up on my phone, my own country is burning, so is California … Japan is suffering the worst heat wave ever. The list goes on …

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Roads melting in the heat. Clearly were never designed for what’s happening.
      Can they still deny the effects of Climate Change?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mara Eastern says:

    You said it eloquently.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Completely agree David. Honestly I’ve felt “off-kilter” since the 11.03.11 the massive earthquake and tsunami off Honshu, Japan… We must all soldier on and do what we can to minimise our effects on this planet. I fear we’ve done an abysmal job of our Care-taking Responsibilities…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. People conflate cataclysmic scenarios with how we should be treating the planet.

      There may be room for argument about the effect that man is having on global warming. There may even be room for argument about whether we are experiencing global warming or a blip in the long-term graph. The chance that it is a ‘blip’ is thought unlikely by most climate scientists, but the calculations are complex and the Earth is a complex system, so we have to allow that it is possible.

      What is not in doubt is that we are destroying the Earth, bit by bit with pollution.

      So I say don’t let arguments about global warming be a red herring to deflect from the fact that we should clean up the mess we are making.

      It doesn’t or shouldn’t need the justification that we are facing disaster in order for us to keep the environment a fit place for us and all creatures.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We are responsible for cleaning up our own messes. At least so I was taught since old enough to pick up my toys…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Was also taught to leave things in AT LEAST as good a state as I’d found them

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t know how to put my finger on it, but take a company like Apple or Amazon selling something that gives them a profit of $2.00 per transaction. It’s not a lot by itself, but they have millions of customers. Those huge numbers aren’t just a quantitative increase; they qualitatively change the nature of trade. I think it’s the same with pollution. Something in the mass societal level of structural organisation results in huge multiples of small individual effects. If societies were run at community level – if there were no mass markets, then production and consumption would be organised differently and I think a lot of the detritus of living simply wouldn’t happen. Not that I have any idea how that less destructive might come about (other than through an apocalyptic event).

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Every beach is composed of uncountable grains of sand and yet they come together and can go on for miles…

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Another conversation that went on earlier today. Ordering something to be delivered to your door when it can be purchased in your own community… Thoughtless.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Seduced by convenience.

          Liked by 2 people

      3. Mmm… Something about “Dominion over the earth…”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Stewardship, responsibility…

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Indeed! NOT take your profit and run (leaving a great pile of mess for someone else to shoulder:/ )

          Liked by 1 person

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