Highgate Lido / Lifegardening

Someday this was a beach.

Sea sounds will still reverberate.

Perhaps they are ancient echoes of a soon-to-be Brighton.

I think perhaps a lifeguard chair ought to be in view.

Perhaps people will bring their buckets and plant waves of nasturtiums crashing up the shingle.

A floral wave machine.

And the inevitable ice cream truck.

People came here for leisure, and pleasure.

Some still do.

Not many, and the pleasures are a bit more opaque.

It’s a bit scary how leisure, escape, and displacement can get all mixed up.

Where flight and refuge are indistinguishable.

All the more reason for that lifeguard’s chair.

Because the shore is where things collect.

Brought together by waves, and gravity.

In jumbles, and job lots.

For beachcombers to contemplate, and sometimes to say hello and goodbye in the same moment.

All that arriving and departing can be exhausting.

So perhaps we should be making these places more welcoming, more salubrious.

Perhaps by creating some tidepools, or something a bit more organised, more garden-like.

A place to gather and marvel before the next wave sweeps in.