The snows have finally left the Monadhliath mountains, they always linger for longer here. It is warm in the glen and we are looking for cooler air on higher ground.
The grass is lush and green and the breeze tickles our fur. There are so many interesting smells and I have a good sniff.
We can hear water behind the trees and when we get to an open space we reach a small waterfall.
A man with white hair in blue dungarees is standing on the other side of the river.
“Have you come far?” asks the man.
“No, we are just a couple of hours away from here,” says our companion. “Are you from south of the border?”
“I am from Sheffield, but this feels like home to me. This is my spiritual home and I would like to have a natural burial here. I am looking for someone who is open to the idea, as this is such a wonderful spot. If I can get that permission, I have even more to look forward to.”
“I hope they will give you permission, it is such a peaceful place,” says our companion.
“I believe it makes a difference where your final resting place is and where you want to have your ashes scattered. I have been walking here every day from six in the morning and I cannot imagine me ever being anywhere else. I can listen to the river tumbling over the rocks and the birds singing. Sometimes you see golden eagle here.”
I walk through the shallows and sit down next to the man. He tickles me under my chin and I peer along my nose to catch his eye.
“I am eighty-two years old now and I have always wanted to have a whippet. I love whippets.”
I nudge his hand with my nose and look at our companion. Pearl is licking her face.
“They are great fun to have around and love the outdoors,” says our companion.
“I might check a few shelters to see if they have a middle-aged whippet who needs a foster home.”
I trot back through the water to join Pearl and our companions. This is a beautiful place to bring a dog for walks. This kind man will make one rescue dog very happy. He looks very young and fit for his age and he has a lot of love to give. He would be a perfect foster for a sighthound.
The man raises his arm and waves as we walk on. It feels as if he is giving us a blessing. My heart opens with love and I send him a blessing too.
The man holds my gaze, the way real Highlanders do. I know he has received my blessing too.
I am sending you all so much love,
Daily Prompt: Open
All photographs taken by Xenia Tran, unedited.
Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: iA