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by SH


"We’ve lived on the flight path the past 30 years. We haven’t minded the roar of the jets; in fact we’ve never ceased to marvel at the physics that keeps these giant lumps of metal lumbering into the heavens. You hear them before you spot them especially as they throttle back post take off. They show you their least glamorous side, their belly with all its hidden machinery. Inside the passengers feign nonchalance or look excitedly out the window - but they do not notice us beneath their wingtips.

What seems like a lifetime ago we even loved the ritual of the twice daily pause when our windows rattled and there was no point talking - as the elegant but angry Concorde thundered overhead. Over the past few days the number of planes has lessened. We only occasionally glimpse the sun catching their tails. Their metallic roar has been replaced by the gentler sounds of birds calling to each other in the trees.

Today, not a single plane has disturbed the quiet. The sun is shining and the sky is a perfect blue. There is no evidence of man’s might - no white streams criss-crossing the ceiling. I like the silence and the calm. This is what life was like before we brought the world under our yoke. Feels like Mother Earth is effortlessly taking it back again."

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