Once the hills stop howling we venture out into the woods. There’s still plenty of tree cover to protect us from intermittent drizzle and showers. The heather is turning brown here while further north they’re hanging on to purple. A gentle buzz of hoverflies follows us between fading fireweeds whilst at the waterfall, wild salmon are leaping.
october wind rain slips through the net of noughts and crosses
Climbing the trail towards the Lairig Ghru we are greeted by a sweet and powerful smell of honey. We’ve been walking for an hour with the sun on our backs when Eivor suddenly stops. He looks up at the billowing clouds, then looks at us, his nose twitching to the right. We know what this means and give him a gentle pat before turning back.
autumn equinox a changing sky lights up the heather
The crowds have left the beaches and a new calm returns. We are grateful the sand remains as pure and clean as we found it in our lockdown days. The rising sun takes the edge of the sharp wind that blows in from the North. As Eivor chases a yellow ball, we reflect how all that’s gone before has brought us to this moment.
new coolness even in circles the path remains a path
I decided to change the title for my Friday posts. Formerly, it was What’s Making Me Happy, but I had borrowed this from the excellent podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, and I thought maybe it would be best to have something different. There is a fine line between admiration and plagiarism, and I didn’t want to cross it.
So now the title will be Friday Favorites, but the content will be the same as I list things that made me happy or caught my attention during the week. Often I list three things, but today there will only be one as it needs to stand by itself.
The sea retreats as the sun rises, leaving ripples in sand and glittering water. It’s great to be back on the beach. Pearl runs after balls and catches them mid-air. Eivor walks more quietly and gazes past the headland. We both rest our eyes on the mountains and hear a gentle voice saying Stay, stay a little longer.
august moon walking through tidal pools a star follows
It’s our first journey to the bay since the hundred days of lockdown. In my mind’s eye we visited this pebbled shore a few times, walking through old photos and the memories collected. Now I can feel the wind buffet around us, see my grandmother’s face appear in the clouds once more.
learning to fly the kindness of herring gulls on bright water
During lockdown I’ve been looking at new ways of merging poems and images and participated in a few collaborative projects with other poets, artists and photographers. The above video is the first I wove together and I look forward to learning and sharing more.
Today is the last day of our lockdown. More than a hundred days of staying at home. In many ways, it’s been a true blessing.
We enjoy the quiet beach, the clean air and water, the way we always do. More than anything, we enjoy the absence of litter. The romantic in me hopes it can stay this way, that tourists will be mindful when they return.
Echoes of drums and fiddles float through an open window, a virtual ceilidh in full swing. Dogs run big circles on the beach beside the turquoise water. My mind drifts and settles. Becoming sand, becoming sea.
This post is dedicated to Susan Hey (1979-2020) who lost her battle with cancer last week. She had devoted the last few years of her life to creating a lasting memorial and gift to our town, in memory of her son Hamish. Hamish died of cancer three years ago, at the age of eight.
Because of the covid-19 restrictions Susan’s funeral had to take place behind closed doors. Details of her final journey were released so that those of us who wanted to say goodbye were given the opportunity to do so whilst maintaining a safe social distance.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Susan’s family and friends at this difficult time.
Wishing you all a blessed Tuesday and may you stay safe and well,
with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx
Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.
Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/4.5 – 1/1000 s – ISO 100, f/5 – 1/640 s – ISO 100 and f/5.6 – 1/80 s – ISO 200.
Restrictions begin to ease. We can go out twice a day for sport or exercise, provided we stay local. The gorse is in bloom, glittering in warm yellows. The water is clear, the air still free of pollution. It is quite something, to see anyone here.
distant mountains running like the wind he smells the snow