The walking playground: flightlines

Have you ever stared up at the sky and noticed how the clouds seem to travel really fast? This week I walked the river at the section where it slices the city in two. This is a big river, brown and steady in its flow, tidal and therefore potentially lethal. This river has declared its power on a number of occasions, swelling up and indiscriminately swallowing everything it encounters. Today it is at low tide, exposing stubbly mangrove shoots and riveted sandbanks.

But it is the sky I’m interested in, and the flightlines birds take across it, some high, straight and aloof, some looping and in low swoops like tired bunting. Birds love to play I think. I see how they dive through crowds, how they scurry between bushes and how they intimidate each other with their screeches and mock-bravery. Walking along this wide, slicing river, I see how these flightlines leave momentary tracings.


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