Haibun: Pulse of the Ancients

a brindle whippet sniffing the moss on the trunk of an ancient oak tree

September’s sun dapples through green and ochre leaves as the path meanders past a three-hundred-year-old sycamore, still standing strong. A few dog-less people make a fuss of Misty as she skips past them to the sunny side of the wood. A robin sings his heart out on a garden fence, where the path passes a few houses. We cross a small wooden bridge over the burn, one side of the water green with algae. Once we turn left, we see her.

Birnam Oak
six hundred years old and more
this autumn

close up of the bark and lichen of an ancient oak tree

One of the last living relics from a medieval forest that once grew here, her girth is around seven metres. The oak’s lower branches are so heavy they are supported by stilts and part of the trunk is hollow.

Shakespeare is said to have visited this area in 1589 when he was an actor and later immortalised the wood in his play Macbeth. This tree would have been mature when Shakespeare walked here. Touching the bark with my left hand, I feel a pulse that gets stronger and stronger the longer I leave it there, filling my palm with heat that travels down my arms and my spine, as if they are branches.

then and now
a mild south-easterly
tingles the leaves

© Xenia Tran

Birnam Oak, lower section in the warm September sun

I am guest-hosting Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets tonight and the bar opens at 8pm GMT.

Wishing you all a happy Monday,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Frame

dVerse Poets: Haibun Monday – September Song

Haibun: They Walk Beside Us

Cairngorms National Park

a memorial plaque placed on the stump of a pine tree

The sky is grey above the hills and we set off with raincoats wrapped around our waists. We walked this trail so many times the last twelve years, in all weathers. With Seamus weaving through the trees, sniffing moss and lichen and Ruby, always by my side in rhythm with my stride. With Eivor, leaping across streams and puddles to keep his paws dry, and Pearl, walking into the same streams to cool her legs and have a drink. Their smiles still linger here, their paw prints are embedded in the soil.

Here we are with Misty, who is as wide-eyed and enchanted by the glen as all the others were. For a while it feels as if we are walking with them, including those who Misty knew.

forest trail
changed forever
we greet the sun

© Xenia Tran

the ruins of Castle Eilein in the loch

We saw this beautiful memorial plaque on the stump of an ancient pine and can imagine the young man’s spirit and his loved ones finding peace here too.

Wishing you all a blessed Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Mirror

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #139

dVerse Poets: Open Link Live #322 August Edition

Haibun: The Puppy Within

a picture of a blue and brindle whippet puppy

Misty’s family came over for a visit this weekend and it was lovely to see them again. After a walk on the beach we went back to our house and they gave us this beautiful picture of Misty as a puppy that had been hanging on her late owner’s wall.

Misty is still very playful. She loves flinging her toys around the room as well as my slippers. Showing her the picture, she sniffs it and looks thoughtfully at her younger self. Then she turns towards the wall with pictures of our other dogs, where she is happy for us to hang it.

fruits of summer –
between blackcurrant bushes
forget-me-nots bloom

© Xenia Tran

a smiling brindle senior whippet in a dog bed with a green toy

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

CFFC: Symbolizes an Act of Kindness

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Twin

dVerse Poets: It’s OLN Live

Haibun: Where Love Sails

a smiling brindle whippet walking across the shingle towards the dunes

It is almost a month ago when we first met Misty. The morning after she moved in we went on a short break to a small village further along the coast. She had been on day-trips with her family before, but never on holiday. It was a blessing to have this quiet time to get to know each other. And Misty loved it.

When we returned home there were vet visits and blood tests and since then, our bond has only strengthened. We admire Misty for her spirit, the way she seems to understand and read us, the way she fits into our lives so easily. The ripples can be felt when love walks where we walk, sails with all who sail beyond our sheltered bay.

flowing river
in tune with the moon
she finds the sea

© Xenia Tran

the moray firth seen from the dunes where the river meets the sea

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a wonderful new week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekend Sky #67

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #133

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Sail

Haibun: Earth’s Garden

a black whippet in a blue harness walking among wildflowers

Art is the means we have of undoing the damage of haste – Theodore Roethke

The sun warms our backs as we walk along a narrow trail between dandelion clocks and flowers. Rhododendron and lilac are in bloom and their scent seems extra sweet this morning. We feel at one with the wood, the bog lands and the meadow as if we have always been part of earth’s garden.

stirring the soul
goldfinches sing
in the alder

© Xenia Tran

a black whippet in a blue harness sniffing the grass in a woodland garden

In the spirit of Roethke’s quote, we are sharing some more treasured moments from our last walks with Eivor this week.

Wishing you all a blessed Monday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #201: Three of a Kind

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Lilac

Haibun: All the Long Season

Cairngorms National Park

a blue and white whippet and a black whippet in winter jackets approaching each other on a forest trail

A few snowflakes brush our faces and melt before touching the ground. We are not sure, where they came from. The patch of sky above us is translucent blue. Across the loch, clouds hover above the snow-capped peaks. Perhaps they travelled from there, on the wind.

crossing the bridge
the sound of spring
in flowing water

© Xenia Tran

driftwood sticking out of the loch near the shore with snow-capped peaks in the background

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Long

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Flake

Haibun: Waymarkers

two whippets on a trail through the dunes leading to the sea

After a frosty night, the sun warms the day. The light shines through leafless trees, glitters in the brown heather. A sandy trail meanders through gorse and pine towards the sea.

gentle breeze
a wagtail darts in and out
of the shadows

© Xenia Tran

a black whippet in a winter jacket on top of the dunes by the sea

Wishing you all a blessed Monday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekly Prompts Colour Challenge: Brown

Haibun: The Way Home

a blue and white whippet in a winter jacket on a forest trail

It is safe to return to the woods now the storms have passed and it takes a while to find our bearings. Where once was a path, the ground is covered with fallen branches. Where, until recently, trees stood filled with squirrels and birdsong, we discover wide open spaces filled with light. The usual landmarks where we would turn right and right again have disappeared and we fall back on an ancient, inner compass.

deep forest
each journey still rooted
in the soil

© Xenia Tran

close up of fallen branches and seeds from a young pine tree

We hope you all stayed safe in the storms and wish you a blessed Monday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

PI Poetry Prompt: Storm

Weekly Prompt Weekend Challenge: Close-Up

Haibun: Lines of Vulnerability

WW2 defences crumbling and sinking into tidal sands

World War Two defences along our coast are tilting and sinking into tidal sands. Blocks of cement filled with local stone were here to stop tanks arriving via ship and water. After the war, these lines were left here, just in case. Today, some are used to rest towels of swimmers and surfers. Others become picnic tables or a shelter from the wind. When you touch them with your hand you feel the vibration of wind and waves, the pulse of the earth in the local stone. There is a lot to be grateful for when we remember all those who helped us live in peace.

how soon
a stream flows out
to sea

© Xenia Tran

close up of a black whippet in a winter jacket sniffing paw prints in the sand

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #185: Change

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Fragile

Haibun: Beat of the Drum

two whippets in winter jackets running on the beach

The dogs are wearing thermals under their coats and the wind-chill makes our eyes water. The sea rolls on now the storms have passed and the salt air smells invigorating. Eivor and Pearl run and chase balls. A quiet drum beats inside us, returning us to peace.

lighting a fire –
the sun paints rainbows
in the waves

© Xenia Tran

white horses running towards the shore with a rainbow in the spray

We hope you all stayed safe while Storm Malik and Storm Corrie passed our shores and wish you a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Aquatic

Sunday Stills: The Power of the Elements

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Coat