Haibun: A Helping Hand

Cairngorms National Park


black whippet in winter jacket on snow-covered forest trail

Flow down and down in always widening rings of being (Rumi)

This Winter has brought us many snows. Here in the glen it feels safe and sheltered. As much as we love the mountains, we rather walk on lower ground when winds move snow around.Β  Every year there are walkers who disappear.Β  Every year they are brought home by volunteers. Volunteers with widening rings of being.

winter sky
the stars remember
a helping hand

Β© Xenia Tran


snow covered mountain seen from the forest glen


This season has already seen 181 avalanches in the Scottish mountains. Scottish Mountain Rescue has 23 teams and more than 800 volunteers who give their time freely to search and rescue people who are lost, injured or reported missing. We greatly admire the spirit of these people and are very grateful for the work they do.

If you are interested in volunteering for Mountain Rescue Scotland or want to support them you can find more information here.

If you are planning to walk in the Winter mountains please keep up to date with local avalanche reports. For avalanche warnings in Scotland you can visit the Scottish Avalanche Information Service here.

Stay safe, warm and happy!
With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx


Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8, 1/320 s, ISO 800 and f/4, 1/800 s, ISO 160.


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dVerse Poets Pub Logo


Author: whippetwisdom

The stories, poems and photographs on this blog are the original creative work of Xenia Tran. Inspired by life in the Scottish Highlands and in awe of nature she gives voice to the wisdom of her adopted and fostered whippets.

74 thoughts on “Haibun: A Helping Hand”

  1. Lovely photos and a loving message: to all there, yes, stay safe, and if you head to the mountains, let people know where you are going and for how long, and take an avalanche kit with you. It saves lives, signals location, and buys time till volunteers and rescue staff arrive. Here’s to beauty without loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely, thoughtful haibun. We’d be lost without the wonderful and brave rescue services. Although winter scenes like the one you posted are so beautiful, there are hidden dangers. Stay safe and warm πŸ’–xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for asking Elaine. Liam is still missing. His brother and the family continue to raise awareness. Flyers have been distributed by volunteers at concerts and football matches. An additional 300,000 flyers have been distributed by the Hamburg postal service. There have been further sightings reported, none of them have been verified. The family remain hopeful he will be found β˜ΊπŸ’– xxx

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your kind words Amy πŸ’œ It happens every Winter when people underestimate the conditions. Even experienced walkers can become disoriented in low cloud and fog when magnetic closures in their clothing or mobile phone cases reverse the polarity on their compass. Last month a group got lost because of this and thankfully they were found in time and brought to safety β˜ΊπŸ’– xxx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words Anne πŸ’œ We seem to be having more avalanches than usual this year through the combination of heavy snow and strong winds. Mountaineering Scotland issued a warning that the latest trend in using magnetic closures on gloves and outdoor clothing is putting walkers at risk. They are asking outdoor clothing manufacturers to rethink their designs and walkers need to be discerning in what they buy ☺ xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I had no idea the Scottish mountains were so dangerous Xenia. We were there 2 summers ago and they were gloriously beautiful but I’m sure they can be quite treacherous in bad weather. We had fog one day and it was extremely thick and disorienting. So sorry to hear the young man still has not been found.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tina, the combination of heavy snow and strong winds creates huge drifts and areas where the snow becomes unstable. The majority of avalanches are caused by people walking on unstable snow. The search for Liam still continues. The more flyers they have been distributing the more sightings have been reported by people who did not realise he was missing. The family are still hopeful they will find him πŸ’– xxx


  4. I have great admiration for volunteers who give their time to help rescue others in really dangerous circumstances. They are very brave and completely unselfish. Poor Eivor looks like his feet are getting cold in all that snow. Keep warm and safe. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Kim, they truly are very brave and generous of spirit. Eivor noticed some other walkers in the distance between the trees – he often raises a paw when something catches his eye that he is not sure about. We hope all is well with you and wish you all a wonderful weekend πŸ€—πŸ’– xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, gosh! As I don’t live by the mountains, I had no idea how many people get lost each winter. Sobering. Mother Nature is beautiful, but she should be respected and taken seriously.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like everyone felt a big thank you after reading this. The poem, the information so unexpected and like the snow so fresh. I was in Scotland in late spring. It was so beautiful. I have great affection for that country and its people. This made my heart reach out to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Gay πŸ’œ This is a difficult time for the families of those who have gone missing beneath the snow and it affects the whole community. So glad you enjoyed your time in Scotland and feel a connection with the country and its people. Late Spring is a beautiful time to visit β˜ΊπŸ’– xxx


  7. As always, I love the pups. In the NC mountains, people go missing all the time and some of them are never found. Very sad but then, some people are not prepared for extreme conditions. Thank goodness for the rescue workers and the searchers. You three take care of yourselves. the haiku is gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Toni πŸ’œ It is so sad when they are never found. The rescue teams here have managed to recover some of the bodies so they could be laid to rest and others are still buried under avalanche snows. Hope you are well and much love from all of us here β˜ΊπŸ’– xxx


  8. I’m sad to hear that Liam is still missing. The mountain rescue teams do a great job. I like the link to Rumi, Xenia, the images are beautiful, and the haiku is superb! πŸ™‚ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for sharing your lovely images and your wise words.
    And a big Thank You to all rescue volunteers who risk their lives to save others.
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words LuAnne πŸ’œ This part of Rumi’s quote seemed very fitting for the way volunteers give their time freely and with heart β˜ΊπŸ’– xxx


  10. Thank you so much, Xenia. I love this poem. I had read the quote from this “Close both eyes / to see with the other eye” but had never read the entire poem. It’s lovely. I bookmarked that one. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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