The Snowdrop Door

File:Canal Regent Londres.jpgPhoto: Myrabella / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 & GFDL

As you wend your way along the towpath of Regent’s Canal, north of the ever bustling rail terminals of Kings Cross and St. Pancras stations, past the crumbling stonework of Victorian storehouses and the trendy modern flats housing bankers, and yuppies that pay their rent through Air BnB, past the students sunning themselves and drinking cheap lager on the roofs of their narrow boats. As you pass all this you may lose yourself in the glorious cosmopolitan triumph of 21st century London, a vast conurbation built on silt and clay and marshes, then on Roman ruins, Anglo Saxon ruins, and later out of the blood and gold of the millions subjugated by the forces of the greatest maritime empire the world has ever seen. As you wander along in reverie, you may pass a door. In springtime, it is a door surrounded by delicate white snowdrop flowers, rank upon rank of brilliant alabaster and emerald guardians. Like the many thousands who pass it every day you may not realise the door’s significance. And that is as it should be…