Thursday, March 6, 2014


Tuesday was such a beautiful day. After what has seemed like months of rain and wind, we awoke to a bright blue morning, birdsong, and a just detectable hint of softness in the air. After seeing the rest of the household off to their respective destinations,and rushing through the essential chores, I was left with the delicious prospect of a morning on my own. A perfect time for a leisurely ramble around the neighbourhood, to see what's doing - let's go.

Stopping at the gate, I noticed a wee clump of daffodils peeking out from the bank. I planted quite a few of my spare bulbs here, last Autumn, so it is good to see them showing - a promise of Spring indeed.

I turn South and head up the road toward the standing stones.

At the top of the hill, I have a choice - should I walk through the Stone Circle, and down the path towards the visitor's centre, or go down the steep hill to the shore? Ho-hum - if I go down past the centre just now, I might be tempted to go in for a coffee, and then I could miss the best of the day. Later, I think.

So, I head down the twisting slope towards the shore road.. I love this view of the sea-loch and the old house on the peninsula.

Spring is a lot more advanced in the sheltered hillside gardens here, and this splash of purple is a cheering sight as I walk down in the warm sunshine.

Down on the flat, I wander along the road to the pier. The sun reflecting on the still blue water of the loch is so beautiful, that I feel as if I could gaze at it forever. Was it Thoreau who described a lake as the Earth's eye? I can well imagine. I pass boats pulled high on the shoreline, still happed up against the Winter weather, and a pile of lobster pots spill over onto the seaweed.

On the other side of the road, a neighbour's piglets are rooting around, enjoying some sun on their backs, while their mother dozes at the entrance to the sty in the other corner of the field. I am struck by the mosaic pattern of the lichens and mosses growing on a rock, while patches of smashed shells are strewn here and there along the path, dropped from a height by hungry gulls, eager to eat the contents. As I walk along, something lying on the road glints in the sunlight. A drab brown dog whelk shell has broken open, revealing it's dazzling purple interior. I trace my fingers over the exquisite contours, feeling the smoothness of the newly exposed inside of the shell - marvelling at this tiny glimpse of heaven in my hand.

Tucking my shining treasure carefully into my pocket, I continue on to the pier at the end of the road, and take in the view. I decide to walk round to the other shore and have a look at the new camping pods, so I retrace my steps a little way, before veering off to the west, and following the path over. The ground is so wet - water is lying everywhere, and the ditches are overflowing. But I squelch on and soon I am sitting on the verandah of one of the pods, enjoying the view.

The air is still, and the silence is broken only by the sound of the waves lapping gently on the rocks and the occasional bark from a couple of gulls wheeling around on the warm currents. There is a sudden altercation, and two sheld ducks go scuttling low over the water, hooting loudly, as if in protest - but it is too nice a day for quarrelling, and peace soon returns to the inlet.

I sit for a while, just soaking in the sunshine - feeling the stillness. Silence has a different quality outdoors, and I am aware of it permeating my mind - calming my thoughts.  After a time, I think about heading home, but the sight of the Visitor Centre reminds me of that coffee I promised myself on the way down. I wander back along the shore road. A flock of geese are floating serenely on the loch as I pass. One gives a squawk and the rest mutter in reply - I wonder if it was a good joke. 

Suitably refreshed by good coffee - and maybe a slice of home-made cake, I wend my way up the hill towards the stones again, and back home. The brightness has gone from the day, and it feels just a little bit colder. I remember the prediction from the school-bus driver that it would rain before the day's end, and think he might be right. Ah well, I have had this glorious morning, and my heart feels so much lighter for that.


  1. ...and a tiny glimpse of heaven in your photographs. My soul feels refreshed after that walk. Oh, how I love the islands. x

  2. Complete bliss, it doesn't get any better than that. I feel so refreshed walking with you.

  3. Beautiful signs of spring in a most wonderful part of Scotland. Love these images. Make me want to visit the isles again!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  4. What a wonderful rambling you have there! Thank you for sharing a little piece of it with us, and for sharing the gorgeous photographs. I spent ten years living in Fife, but never made it to your part of the country - it looks stunning. x

  5. Thank you for the lovely stroll about, I needed it and it was just beautiful.

  6. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again for this remarkable post.

    I have always been an admirer of standing stones, and years ago did a series of watercolor paintings derived from the majesty any mystery of such stones. I am not deterred in my admiration by the fact that I have never actually walked amongst them. Your first photo of the roadway leading to the stones on the horizon really struck me. Now I have some notion of the contextual setting.

    That was reason enough for my gratitude, but then you treated us to even more views of a place with great beauty, and well written words that added to our appreciation.

    You have been so kind to share your glorious morning. xo

  7. Thank you for the beautiful, refreshing and peaceful stroll!

  8. You live in beautiful surroundings, so lovely and coffee and cake available as well.
    Kind wishes

  9. Thank you for taking me on your walk, the stillness, calm and tranquillity just ooze from your pictures and your writing. You live in a very beautiful place.
    {hugs} x

  10. What a lovely walk.....I want to add your walk to my next visit to Scotland. The Standing Stones are truly breath-taking!

  11. Such wonderful photographs, they lift my spirits just to look, I think I can imagine how you must have felt, all that awakening earth stuff. The purple interior of that shell will stay with me, I wish I knew how to dye yarn...

  12. what a lovely walkabout and you definitely have more signs of spring that I do. We have snow everywhere but I believe that there's a melting in my future.

  13. Catching up and thank you for taking us along on your walk! Good job we weren't all with you in reality, what a noisy rabble we would have been!!

    San xx

  14. Just lovely Jacqui! Thank you. xxx

  15. What a joy to go on a ramble with you! I needed that this cloudy day!

  16. Of all the blogs I read and their varied offerings, yours, and this post, cause me to ask why somebody, you, is living my life, and then I wake up to that unconscious message and ask myself why I am not living the life I desire to live, what is keeping me on the other side of that precious wildness that Mary Oliver writes of.....thank you, as always, for sparking my spirit.

    1. It's not an easy thing to do, though, Merlin. It took us a long time to get there. I think your journey has already begun, somehow. Thank you for that beautiful comment. xx

  17. Thank you for sharing!! I love how you have those stones right in your backyard-was that the selling point when you bought your house? It's such a beautiful setting and I'm so glad I was able to visit Callanish a few years ago.

  18. What a blessing to live in such a beautiful place! Thank you for sharing your walk!

  19. Well, thank you all for joining me - I really feel as if I took the walk with each of you. Thanks for your company xxx

  20. This was so beautiful and calming to read. You live in such an inspiring part of the country with beautiful skies and scenery. I would certainly be out in all weathers to capture the grace and nature each day. Thank you for sharing this. xx

  21. What a lovely blog! The photos and writing are both so tip-top. From my own lovely but forested Vermont, I'm longing for your wide open spaces and sparkling sea! And croft must be one of the neatest words in the language, too.



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