Climb the wooden steps carefully to gaze from high, or look across through the clearing atop the cliffs here... When the tide is far out you can see the mud stretching, shining all the way out to the entrance to Doggerland. On your left the memories of hippos and mammoths that once roamed here have been built into the play park. One day soon the sea will have eaten the cliffs all the way back to here. If we try to imagine the future, what do we see from here?
Things you could do
Take note of the kinds of trees and flowers you see. Collect interesting leaves, sticks, lichen, roots, interesting signs, moments of the light moving. You can use your phone to take pictures, you can draw, list and even pick up something every now and again.
As with anything we do we should be mindful not to disrupt the eco system too much! Eg: Don’t pick things that aren’t abundant, or pull lichen from branches.
Choreography - There is a grassy area near the lookout. If it is dewy or frosty try taking off your shoes and socks and drawing a spiral in the grass. Going from the inside to the outside is easiest... go slowly or you may get dizzy!
Otherwise: Place your feet deliberately onto the ground, first one foot, then the other. Feel the ground rise up to meet you and gravity keeping you steady. Close your eyes and place your hands over them gently... Rock the tiniest bit backwards and forwards testing your balance. Don't push it too far! We're not trying to fall over! Just playing with the idea of balance...
The morning was warm and the low sun transformed the heavy shower of dew on the grass into a luminous bright veil twinkling silver on the skin of the land. I longed to be barefoot on the place, to feel it through my own skin.
I took off my shoes and rolled off my socks. I felt the cool sparkling wet of the dew on my toes and I slowly carved a spiral labyrinth out of it and onto the park. The water shivered off of the grass and I left an almost invisible trail in my wake. Looking straight down the path that I had made disappeared, but from a small distance it was brazen on the landscape.
I couldn't resist the urge to play and ran my way out of the labyrinth... Once I had returned to my shoes and warmed my toes I left it to the sun. By nightfall the labyrinth would disappear, perhaps if the day held its heat it might even be gone by noon.
I walked to the water and gazed out over the shining bone knit of the mud at low tide. The rivulets and capillary channels of water bleeding out to the sea promising to change subtly with each ebb.
The mushrooms glowing like tiny little treasures in the long grass would be nibbled by the parks fauna or withered by their own fruiting life cycle before my next visit.
Here change is a constant. The place is at once ancient with its own familiar unique face, and steeped in ephemerality. We will be making works here that aim to stand proud in the landscape for the long term...But making these delicate disappearing things seems appropriate too. It is one of the ways that the place seems to be asking us to play with it, and a game of creation and destruction that it understands.
I look forward to the coming frosts to caress the earth with my feet again and coax out more disappearing spirals, more impermanent prayers to the land here. I hope some of you will want to feel the reassuring chill under your feet too...
Next Stop... Buried Treasure!