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When you notice an item of litter, your noticing doesn't stop there. You notice its surroundings. And as the noticing turns into discovery, and as what is discovered falls back into the familiar, the noticing gradually spreads its wings. You notice a metal utility cover, partly overgrown by the grass. You notice a run of wooden fencing engulfed in the hedge. You notice the large trees which are magnificent, and part of the line of hedges and fences, but then, not in any regular fashion - first you notice a tree, you're startled by its nobility, you notice other trees, you notice that they aren't behind the hedge in the field, or in front of the fence on the verge, but in the line of the hedge or the field; you don't see a pattern to their spacing, but then you notice that some are at field openings and entrances, and wonder if that is a pattern. You notice the field openings, some with gates and some without; and then you notice a gate inside the hedge, hidden or swallowed by the hedge. What's the story there? One gate is rusted and missing parts; it is hung on a solid 6x6 inch square oak post and latched onto another, and both posts come from another life: with notches and holes and pieces of metal that speak of re-use and an earlier incarnation. Suddenly the whole road opens up, and the sense of its history flows through the trees, and the anomalous sections of fence hidden in the hedges, and the sweep of the road itself up the hill but with higher and higher verges as it reaches the crown, and one sees that it has been levelled sometime, the slope of the road has been eased by digging its bed down into the hill; and one feels the ground one's standing on is alive with stories.

But not all at once. One noticing.  The widening out of what is known in the familiar, by the consequent discovery falling back into it, spreads out and touches something which is not familiar, which is not  already known, which has not been seen, explicitly or inexplicitly, before: and that is a magic touch. In that magic touch you notice it, and the mystery of its being there, and of always having been there while you were going up and down the road litterpicking in the weeks before

[in progress]