The mornings are dark here, just now - we need alarm clocks to wake us in time, for if we wait for the sun to creep round the corner of the blind, it is well on in the day.
But - at last, dawn breaks over the far southeastern horizon. On these icy cold mornings, the light is pure and golden. It is hard to tear our gaze away from such skies - as the moments pass, bringing more and more beauty.
But the cattle have no time for such idleness - back to work now please. Celia stands patiently in the pink light, while Gretel has her breakfast and then all the girls line up for some sweet smelling hay - frost still heavy on their thick coats.
It is such a beautiful day, one of those days that you know you can't waste. We have workmen. finishing off the kitchen, so decide to get out of their way and go for a walk. It is already nearly lunchtime, so we head up to the Standing Stones.
The midday sun is low in the sky. At this time of midwinter it moves a very short distance - barely skimming the horizon.
Our steps lead us to the cafe in the visitor centre for a quick lunch - with dessert, of course!
The sea-loch is like a mirror today, and the light is reflected even more. It is a joy to be out on such a day. We decide to walk along to the pier.
It's a perfect walk - just the two of us. We amble along in silence - mostly. Listening to the cry of the birds, far away rumble of occasional traffic, feeling the stillness. We clamber over the the other side of the peninsula and look down on that shore - surprising a couple of Black Throated Divers (Loons), who skim off over to Bernera. We watch a shape out in the water, diving and surfacing wondering if it could be an otter, (and wondering why once again we didn't think to bring binoculars with us! ) Eventually it comes close enough to shore for us to decide it is probably one of the divers. I remember Thoreau and his story about the loon - it somehow amplifies the solitude of this place.
But - the light is already fading on this short midwinter day, and we wander back along the path. James will be home soon, and there are evening chores to do.
Climbing up the hill we can see the smoke from the village peat fires hanging in the still air . The frost still carpets the grass as we walk through the circle and down the road, and we feel the coldness settling in for the evening.
So we hurry inside, sit down with a cup of tea, our cheeks still aglow, resolving, once again, to take time out like this more often.