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Aldous Heaf + Martyn Stewart




“What can you hear?”

“The ocean”

“Listen again”

“The wind”

“Let’s pause a while. Silently. Then tell me what you hear.”

The sun was barely above the horizon. There was a damp chill in the air that filled the morning with a sense of vibrant anticipation. The rain from the night before had washed away the dusty, dense dryness of the Floridian summer and replaced it with a remarkable lightness. As I closed my eyes, I could sense the subtle earthy scent of wet grass and soil as the breeze wrapped itself around me carried me off in its arms.

The gentle, lapping ripples of the ocean shore grew closer. As the waves broke, the fizz and hiss tingled in my ears along with the tinkling and clinking of the shells and pebbles as they shifted and then settled. I could even hear the dainty feet of a flock of sandpipers leaving their hurried imprints on the wet sand; bobbing and weaving to avoid the foamy edges of the advancing waves. The rhythm of the ocean, crashing and retreating, merging with their ethereal calls was like a delicate symphony whispered to the heavens. Then a rapid burst of wings and a whirlwind of motion, propelled them into the sky.

Higher and higher, further, and deeper until the waves had calmed into a muffled murmur, a hypnotic and serene ebb and flow. A few clicks of dolphins in the distance. The whistle of the wind against the vast expanse of blue. Then a sudden rush of air. An explosion. A breath released from the ancient waters as they powerfully parted, granting passage to a majestic leviathan. A sonorous proclamation of existence. A thousand whispered stories with each exhalation.

The breeze shifts again and catches the elegance and determination of a bird in flight. The rhythmic power of their wings; slow and measured, strong and deliberate. Wooshing and swooshing, gliding and then silence.


A deep brruuuum pierces the moment. Flung into a cacophony of chirps, clicks, peeps and croaks, an operatic performance with the marshy wetlands as its stage. The American bullfrog’s basso profundo singing in unison with the tree frogs high trills. The crickets and cicadas layer in a rhythmic backdrop of humming and buzzing. But it’s the simple bee that makes a star performance; Itself such an intricate and fast-paced composition of notes. A high- pitched staccato when in rapid flight and woodwind-like when buzzing. Vibrant, dynamic, delicate, and unpredictable.

In the background, I can still hear the ocean. Hushed now, but even its whisper speaks of its vastness and unending journey of the tides. The breeze has brought me back now to my uncle. We’re perched on a rock between the beach and the marshlands behind us. The sun has already chased away the morning chill, but as he puts his arm around me, I feel that true sense of warmth. His gift to me was simply that of silence and in so doing, unlocked a magical world of sound.

By 14 year old Aldous Heaf
and his mother Amanda and Great uncle Martyn
Aldous Heaf + Martyn Stewart
Aldous Heaf age 13
sun, sea, surf



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