Thursday, December 20, 2012

Midwinter walking




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. 

30 comments:

  1. och och och, always that's what I think when I visit you here. My Scottish-ness ignited, my love for you, your words, your eye ignited. Have a peaceful yet very merry Christmas x x

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    1. You too Laura. Much live to you and your weans. Thank you for a beautiful comment xx

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  2. I enjoyed this so much, I felt I was right there with you, Best Wishes from Canada!

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  3. This is so beautiful. I long to live in a place even half as magical as the one you call home.

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    1. Thank Eidolons, I love being here. Hope you are all recovering xx

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  4. Thank you for sharing Hun. Beautiful.

    Yuletide blessings, :-)

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    1. My pleasure Jacqui - have a lovely day today xx

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  5. Thanks for taking us on your walk. Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2013 from New Zealand.

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    1. And to you Susan - hope the New Year is a good one for you xx

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  6. Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine from under down under (Tasmania).

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    1. Hi Deb - thank you and blessings to you too xx

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  7. Simply beautiful. Wishing you a lovely Solstice and a merry Christmas (from blizzard-y Wisconsin :)

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    1. Hope you are having fun in the snow there :-) blessings of the season to you all x

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  8. magical ... thank you. you write so well that i am right there with you. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family. May you find rest and light during the holidays.

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    1. Hi JTS - you always say lovely things - best wishes to you and yours xx

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  9. Lovely images and you paint such a wonderful picture with your words too. Have a wonderful festive season.

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  10. What a beautiful walk, thank you for taking us along with you. The short days remind me of Finland where we were this time last week.

    Wishing you many blessings xx

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  11. I so enjoyed my winter walk, it was just beautiful.

    I wanted to wish you, John and James a most Merry Christmas, and I hope
    this world brings you nothing but joy!

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  12. Stunning. I was breathless to see how close you reside to these ancient stones ! I had no idea.. but now am wiser. I so appreciate your taking us with you through your day .

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  13. Beautiful! Have a merry christmas with your family :)

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  14. Such beautiful pictures - you've made me stop panicking about Christmas preparations and be still and enjoy - thank you

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  15. So beautiful, thank you for sharing with us. Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!

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  16. Beautiful words I could picture your journey.

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  17. Such beautiful pictures! Love the stones, and the sunrise pictures, breathtaking! Have a wonderful Christmas!

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  18. Beautiful photos. Merry Christmas to you and your family x

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  19. Your pictures are beautiful!
    Thank you for this Scottish landscapes fix ;) I miss it so much!

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