EARTH walk

From the air even a city is an orderly place, the streets so straight and clean. Scores of rooftops all in neat lines, fanatical delight -- like farmland! And everything so quiet and calm, cars, silent as ants, are stopped at an intersection to let an ambulance pass. Fascinating picture. For doesn't it seem that you might even be able to spy on yourself? And then that other impossible hope -- that you might somehow direct things! From the air all things appear to be equal to have an equal chance. Shadows all fall in the same direction, so easy and fair. And everything stripped bare of cumbersome emotion -- comforting abstraction! But then the fall to fellow earth Oh, to be there and yet not be! But it had to happen some time, you think, landing in the formal gardens where you speak to Jim, a sullen guy With a degree in horticulture, square hands, and a baseball cap on his head, who is down on his two knees weeding woolly thyme that is growing in the cracks in the path. ``This is a third of the job,'' he says with authority. And you feel the urge to bend down beside him. You cannot resist.

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