Radio Lento podcast

126 The seawall and the night patrolling curlews (quiet, long, sleep safe)

July 2, 2022

To be a remote seawall, on a stretch of tidal estuary. 
To see the days and nights not as periods of time, but as slowly undulating waves.
To feel the weight of water, twice rising, twice falling. 
To hear, the lone patrolling curlews.

To stand, firm. 
To be warmed by the sun, then when it's gone, cooled.
To be dried, then submerged. 
Exposed, then hidden, to thrum with the mindful hummings, of passing ships. 
And still hear them, the  lone patrolling curlews.

To be leaning back, shoulder against the great mass of land, there, beneath the open sky.
To be brushed by its gentle, onshore wind. 
And charmed, by its nudging, soft cusping, whisperings.
To be flooded, and engorged, then washed, slooched, and released, then lapped, and slooped, and washed, and trickled, and left wetted, soaked and cleaned, by the ebbing tidal water.
And all the time, be a fulcrum, on which swing the days and nights, and tides, and weather fronts and seasons, and years and decades, and, centuries?
A fulcrum, and a mirror, flat, back leaning and steadfast, off which the echoes reflect. 
The sparse, echoed callings, of the night patrolling curlews.



This segment of quiet, detailed time comes from an overnight recording we made last summer in Burnham-on-Crouch. The view from the seawall is straight out over the water, towards Wallasea Island. It's about 2am and a very high tide has just receded, leaving the lower section of the seawall sparkling with watery sound. Birds patrol the night sky. To the right of scene the hum can still be heard of the ship that passed (heard in episode 98), and that is now docked about half a mile upstream. 

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