Via Sunday Miscellany on RTÉ Radio 1 - lessons in stillness on the Clontarf seafront, in The Heron is Present by Aoife Barry - listen above. 

While walking along the Clontarf seafront, I'd see it standing there, silently in the shallows, unmoving. It seemed oblivious to the world around it, and certainly it ignored me every time I fumbled for my phone to take a photo of it.

A photo that could never perfectly capture why this bird grew to have such a hold over me. I loved, and still love, this grey heron’s refusal to engage with the frenetic pace of everything else around it. No matter that metres away, engines thrummed as cars sped down a main road. No matter the chatter of people walking past. None of that seemed to matter to the heron at all, as it focused on its task of spearing a fish or frog for its dinner.

Sunday Miscellany, RTÉ Radio 1, Sunday mornings at 9.10 am - listen back here.