Springvale

The Vale of Spring was, of old, one of the great natural wonders of the world. Within its borders, it were ever a springtime – a gentle morning, a warm afternoon, a mild twilight and a soft night. The air was fragrant upon the gentle breeze, the weather clear and fair, and the sky crystal blue by day and filled with dazzling stars by night. All who set foot within left promising themselves and their loves that they would return, knowing that they had walked in as close a place to heaven as the mortal world boasts.

But not all love the spring. The winter ever gives up its hold grudgingly, the summer waits impatiently to take its place, and the autumn plots its opposite’s downfall in lonely majesty. When the area was first visited by the men and woman of Europe, not a few among them noted its many springs, rills and streams – the perfect places for mills. And not a few of them later built such creations there. Thus were the seeds of the Vale’s destruction sown, and like all seeds planted there, they grew swift and strong into fullness.

The poet Blake was not wrong to label mills as dark and satanic, for who can doubt the hand of the adversary, whispering in the hearts of humans, and ever working towards the downfall of all things bright and beautiful? The Vale of Spring is no more, its lands sacrificed to industry and its joys to profit. Only a distorted memory of its name survives.

Suburbs near Springvale: