Health & Fitness:Mental Health
195 Tranquility found on England’s highest railway station
Dent station lies on the historic Settle to Carlisle railway between Blea Moor Tunnel and Rise Hill Tunnel. It's the highest operational railway station on the National Rail network in England. The highest and we feel the best because it is so extremely wide open. So extremely exposed. Set in the North Yorkshire Dales National Park, Dent station serves at 1,150 feet above sea level, in stalwart public service.
Up here is real wilderness. Rugged upland wilderness. A place that's persistently buffeted by fresh, cuffing wind. Air, that like the trains, travel free and at speed over marathon spans of mostly uninhabited land. But there is a tree, by the old wooden gate that leads onto the station platform.
The tree has grown squat. Leans from the prevailing wind. Has countless myriad leaves. Waxy well weathered leaves, that the Lento mics tied to its gnarled trunk captured rustling, and jostling, in the brisk undulating breeze. And beyond these spacious rustlings, grazing sheep can sometimes be heard. And high circling buzzards. And other little birds too, through time.
You can if you want choose to stand beside this tree, whilst waiting for your train. Don't worry the platform is only just there. And beside the tree you can so witness what to an urban dweller is rare. A tranquil environment woven not from silence but from affirmative sound, that inside our minds spells peace. Mental peace. A wild landscape that flows in through your ears. How everything sways. Sways this way and that. Never against. Only with you. And the ever undulating wind.
* We left the Lento mics alone on the tree outside the station gate last August. It was a cool and brisk summer day. The next train back to Settle was in an hour so we walked up the fell to see what we could find. We found a remote fir forest, which sounded so good we had to go back the next day to record it. You can go to this fir forest in episode 183.
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