My town has a large Tesco. Tesco, for those unaware, is a large chain of supermarkets here in the UK, one of the most popular in the country [although they did accidentally sell horse meat for a while].
Outside the Tesco in my town is a canal, with some ducks and birds. As I waited in front of Tesco for my parents yesterday, I stood by the railings which run alongside the edge of the canal, because there was nowhere better to stand really. Thinking about the water just a foot or so behind me, I wondered why it isn’t beautiful. Sure, there are ducks and birds and water [I’m a huge fan of bodies of water, like ponds, rivers, lakes and oceans], but the ducks are sad, the birds cruel with hunger and the water an unsightly shade of dirty brown.
Canals, although manmade, can produce an overwhelming display of natural beauty and tranquillity, if they are taken good care of. Instead, this canal, although equipped with animals and water, runs beside a car park in the centre of a large town, unnoticed and uncared for. Thousands of people each and every day rush past this canal with trollies full of shopping, keys in hand and their eyes fixed upon their cars. No one stops to admire the canal; nobody considers the wellbeing of the ducks. At most, they chuck a handful of litter in the direction of the water, which they would call “food for the ducks” if anyone were to stop and question them.
But no one does.
So nothing changes.
This canal ought to be beautiful: a welcome and natural sight after the artificial lighting of the superstore. Instead, it is a littered, mistreated feature, and we have no one to blame for that but ourselves. The potential for beauty is all around us, in every tree, every blade of grass, every pond and every shrub, but in so many cases, that potential is rapidly slipping further and further out of our uncaring grasp, and sooner or later, it will become unretrievable.