allegiances

It feels like one of the old days of freedom. The tide is high, the loch is wide, rippled and blue, with fat flecks of foam drifting slowly, unrestricted, across its surface. They’re being driven outward by the freshwater currents of the two rivers which run into this loch and by the cool easterly breeze but they look as if they’re being driven by the sun, which rides already high in the east-south-east behind them, backlighting them and seeming to propel them towards me.

It’s the first time we’ve seen the sun in days and, as the foam slides by, it continues its steady rise, presiding over the clear blue waters and skies with confident assurance. And its easy assertion, its potent presence reminds me, in good order, that we are only truly ruled by this sun: by its presence and absence, its warmth and light, and by the dynamic streams of air and water it generates across the Earth – our rotating, fecund Earth, which nourishes us in turn. This is where our allegiances belong: to our star, to our planet, and to our right to roam it, as we long to and as we must.

Lochinver harbour, Assynt, Scotland
1st April 2021

apocalypse

It was like a sun from another universe. Wreathed and shrouded in finely-spun fibres of cloud, it hung low over the western horizon just north of the brown humps of Soyea. The cloud cradling it was a deep purplish rose but the hue of the sun itself was hard to describe. Not orange, nor yellow, nor even gold, it was a colour from another world, and its texture too seemed of a softness too fine to be from ours.

I stood at the shore and watched it, this very gentle apocalypse happening somewhere else, and all the while a strange ache grew in my breast – a sense of things I couldn’t reach for,  of distance without end. Meanwhile at my feet, the sea just kept sighing: surge, retreat; surge, retreat; surge, retreat.

Aird Ghlas, Loch Inver, Assynt, Scotland
19th March 2021

enough

What more could you ask for
than green mossy grass
beneath trees
in sunlight?

Culag Wood, Lochinver, Sutherland, Scotland
27th April 2020