Radio Lento podcast

Afternoon meadow in late summer

September 18, 2021

Last day of August. Pleasant sunshine, blue sky. Wind 1 to 2 knots, barely noticeable. Standing tall with motionless leaves, the trees are leaning into the warmth, letting their limbs soak up every available ounce of the sun's golden heat. Along the old bridleway, away from the grey noise of a cross-country road, quiet fields are revealed. Knee deep with grass. Waiting to be mown. 

 

A hedgerow, beside a field. All around, the air thrums, with a feeling of wide open space. In the mid-distance, a flock of geese, slowly transiting the open sky. From near in a high tree, a rook calls. It echoes over the fields, a dry bark-like caw that spells the arrival of autumn.

 

In the next field, hidden from view behind a line of trees, a tractor pulls a long wheeled and bladed contraption up and down. It's mowing the summer's grass. Time to make hay. An old propeller plane hums proudly over. It's passage draws a slow, arching line, between the eastern and western skies.

 

Gradually, with nobody around, the birds return.  Magpies, to bully in the high top branches. The tchack tchacks, of scattering jackdaws. A pheasant, its creaky call like an unoiled gate somewhere in the undergrowth. Little birds, perched amongst the brambles, emit short, percussive sounds. The tractor continues to mow. More planes traverse the sky. And all the time, from everywhere and nowhere, the air continues to thrum with tiny, silken vibrations. These are the traces, the most elemental of aural fragments, the leftovers gathered at the edges of human hearing from the action of countless rolling tyres on fast asphalt roads, but that from here, filtered through so many trees and hedgerows, are safely  and forgettably muffled beneath the horizon.

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