Hidden doorways part V

©Stephen Lines©Stephen Lines

In the fifth of a series of articles looking at Wanstead's 'hidden doorways', local resident and photography enthusiast Stephen Lines challenges you to identify the location of this brick-framed entrance point.

Ovid in his Fasti posed the question why the calendar year begins in the darkness of January and not later in the year when life starts to show itself and rebirth is all around us? I've often thought about the reasoning behind the academic year commencing in September and not January. Historically, compulsory education impacted rural communities where the need for harvest gathering took priority. Consequently, the school year was set to begin after the harvest was collected and stored. A practical and sensible reason.

Lacking in common sense and not being the most practical of people, my rationality is often inclined to whimsical imaginings. Having taken tenancy on a new allotment plot, my mind is focused on this season's tasks. The autumn is, like spring, a time for transplanting, a time for replenishing mature plants and a time for protecting young plants. Passing young pupils on their way to and from school, I'm reminded of this seasonal, horticultural activity.

A new term begins. Sometimes, for very young children, who may not have spent time away from their parents before. Those charged with their care, nurture them, protect them and prepare them for their next stage. Their transplantation occurs, and in the autumn, they find themselves in a new environment aimed at encouraging their growth. No longer the taller in their schools but suddenly the youngest and often among the smallest. Saplings among an orchard of maturing trees. And there they stay until they are ready to relocate to another environment that will continue to encourage them to grow and thrive. It's probably too fanciful to consider that the academic year in some way reflects our continual connection with the rhythm of nature in more ways than through the practicality of gathering the annual harvest. Isn't it?

Learning how to take a photograph that captures something of the essence as well as the image of a subject remains challenging to me. Autumn offers many opportunities with low, golden sunlight and blurring mists. A good time to go out with your camera or a phone. If you do, you may come across a pediment over a door that is no longer there.

To view more of Stephen's images, visit wavidi.co/slines






This month's doorway can be found on Camden Road, Wanstead.

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