north light

Month: August 2012

The Look of This Day

I want to notice this day.

I want to breathe in the look, sound and feel of *this* day, this 30th of August, nearing the end of the summer day.

I want to notice the way the oaks shimmer in the puddle on the road after days of heavy rain,

how the fields are patterned by the farmer’s work,

how the brambles pout with rich dark abundance,

I want to notice how the brambles taste on my lips, still warm from the late summer kiss of hedgerow sun, Continue reading

Tiredness pressing at the back of my eyes, tears at the edges of my weariness.Driving ten miles home, homeward bound, too tired to notice.

The final turn.

By the church in the hollow, light and dark plays on the road. Thistle seeds drift through the light-dark shadow play, backlit by sunshine. A moment of thistle golden drifts towards my seeing, and cracks all open.

Tears of humble recognition fall.

Plugging Into the Source

When one of you works shifts (not me), and ‘weekends’ happen at odd moments during the week, you have to grab your moments of free time together when you can.

And when that window of free time should happen to co-incide with the weather *finally* deciding to improve, there’s nothing for it but to head off outside, grab a cheese roll or two, some grapes and a packet of crisps – our tastes are simple, but our appetite is for the sublime:

A twenty minute drive and we’re on the edge of the Lowther hills. There’s a path that leads up and through the hills, it’s an ancient path, the Wald Path it’s called, you could walk through the hills to Lanarkshire if you’d the legs for it, and the path moves you instantly into a different time, up past the old Roman fort

wald path

but to be honest, we’ve not much appetite for walking today, the day is just too beautiful.

The heather is in full bloom – you can just see it there by the side of the path, and it’s almost impossible to walk past it because the flowers are singing out to me, all scratchy and wiry and purple of Scottishness, all reminders of childhood summers, and there’s nothing for it but to stop and stop again to take their photograph:

heather in sun

After our picnic lunch: nothing more than mooching about.

I’ve taken my shoes and socks off (to cross the burn – I’m hopeless at jumping and have been known to walk huge detours to avoid the ‘invitation’ to jump across) and it’s so lovely just to wander about feeling the grass under my feet and feeling the warmth of the earth.

The meadows are damp after all the rain and they’re hoaching with bog asphodel and ragged robins, butterflies dancing along the tops. There’s a farmer working nearby and the only sound, the only other human we see or hear, is the rumble of the tractor on the hill.

It’s such a beautiful day.

It’s one of those days that makes you think: oh but there’s nowhere like Scotland on a summer’s day after weeks of rain.

It’s one of those days that makes you glad to be simply: here.

The Nature of Dreaming (Redux)

It has been a fabulous day: a whole day in sunshine, walking around Inish Oir, the smallest of the Aran Islands, soaking up sunshine, picnicking, getting burnt, taking photograph after photograph of wildflowers in the hedgerows, in the crevices, walking past mile after mile of wall, a landscape that it’s almost impossible to get your head around.

And then, at the end of the day, with feet hot and tired from racing to catch the boat, a sudden gift of time, more time than we thought to wait on the ferry, not least as the ferry arrives on its own time, with little apparent regard to the timetable, and there is nothing else for it in this gift of extra time, but to take your shoes and socks off and stand with your feet in the Atlantic, looking back to the mainland, to the clouds gathering over the hills of Connemara, marveling at the colour of the water all green-turquoise-blue like the Caribbean, Continue reading

Thistle Strong

Land of cool soft summers, the breath of freedom, and thistles marching on the hill.

All purple time of year:
foxgloves bending with dampness,
patches of clover, cream vanilla, amber pink,
harebells, moving soft in the breeze.

Thistles, a reminder:
aye, us too, made from girders,
thistle strong.

A thousand years I’d need to tell this moment,
this moorland,
this feel of summer,
so light and graceful,
so palely pinkly purple,
so freedom in your hair,
all thistle on the hill.

The Gentlest Turning

Like the gentlest turning of a wheel
This sweet progress from summer to the first hint of autumn,
The time of all picking, mouths kissed purple with abundance,
Even as the flower opens, virgin white.

This sweet progress from summer to the first hint of autumn
Richly centered, seeding, fruiting at the centre
Even as the flower opens, virgin white,
The first sure signs of fruit, forming.

Richly centered, seeding, fruiting at the centre,
The time of all picking, mouths kissed purple with abundance,
The first sure signs of fruit, forming,
Like the gentlest turning of a wheel.

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