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Country diary 1917: lie down and listen to the lulling sound that comes with the wind

01.10.2017
Příroda
Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 8 October 1917Winchelsea, October 7 Fine sensibilities have their penalties, God knows, more particularly in districts crowded by those who have them not; but the discriminations they make possible and the resultant harmonies of these discriminations are an offset that one would not forgo, especially with the added zest of memory. Lie on the dried bents, stretching your limbs to warm them in the last of the autumn sunshine; shut your eyes and listen. The first sound is like the patter of soft rain. You know that's nonsense, because you can feel the hot sun, and you easily identify the aspen on the slope above you. The harsher rustling comes from the heat-charred leaves of the chestnut near by. Through these, as you listen, comes a softer, sweeter, much higher note; a silky, lulling sound which comes and goes with the wind. You open one lazy eye and note the swaying of the reeds in the dykes. A long pause. The wind seems almost to have dropped, and yet you hear another insistent little noise, a fine low hissing, which makes you think of the "fire-magic" music. What can it be? This time you are nonplussed, and even when your eyes are opened the puzzle remains, because then, suddenly, you don't hear it any more. Lie down again and close them; stillness; no sounds except those you have already identified. Then again the tiny shrilling: it is the grass! The dried bents, whose miniature music grows so plain to the listener. A long and satisfied pause is roused by a new rushing roar. Is it possible that that shallow, lapping sea can so soon have whipped up to something like tempest? Then memory comes to your aid, and without opening your eyes you confidently murmur - Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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