The whiteness of Scottish winters is on the go. Not held static with ice or slowly settling with heavy snows but moving: slim streams rushing down hillsides, big sea rollers whipping off into windy spray and blowing foam, sudden batterings of hail. Overhead too everything is in motion: thick white clouds scudding across the sky, the swift belly-white of the gulls fleering around beneath. When there is snow, it comes and goes; a dusting here, a gully-full there, before it’s rained out, wind-scoured, leaving only bleached stones and bones.
And the whiteness of Scottish winters is noisy. None of the soft muffling of snowfall or low creaking of ice. Our whiteness roars and rumbles: beaching waves, rapid rivers, the high clamour of waterfalls, the bright clattering of frozen rain. Scotland’s whiteness throws itself in your face and into your ears. It whips and lashes.
Even the elegant pale-limbed birches wave energetically alongside the running water, although occasionally you come upon the stillness of a white sea-washed stone resting silently at the head of the tide, cast up, waiting for the pull of the travelling moon.
6th March 2014