Picture This: Stone Memories on the Mull of Oa

by Keith Savage · 10 comments

When the steady crunch of crushed stone gives way to the slurp of sucking mud, I look up on yellow-brown heath unfurling like a rumpled carpet cast toward the horizon. A pillar of stone hangs in the sky, stretches for heaven. It is a carved prayer for the Americans tragically lost near the Mull of Oa during The Great War. I wonder if the rocky spire has pierced the firmament as frigid gusts dart across the grasses and rip at my clothes. Hidden over the rise is the ravenous sea, seething against the cliffs beneath the American Monument and jealously guarding her sunken contraband.

Pilgrims, silent and implacable, trek the disappearing path to the monument and lay their hands upon the stone. Can they find some semblance of peace for what was lost here? I’m one of the lucky ones who has never dealt with such loss, but I know our time will come. The natural world rages all around, but the monument rebuffs the fray as if to say, not this time. At this threshold between land and sea, stone and sky, life and death are inscribed the words:

On Fame’s Eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread
While Glory keeps with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead

JunebugNo Gravatar November 26, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Magnificent! The picture and the prose were both just perfect. I haven’t yet been to that part of Scotland but look forward to experiencing the allure of Islay.

http://www.highlandexperience-usa.comNo Gravatar November 21, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Greg picture Keith.
This is one of my favourite places on Islay, maybe even Scotland – with the aqua-marine sea, steep cliffs and stunning views over to Ireland. When ever I bring a tour group to Islay, or arrange a trip here I always include a walk out to the Mull of Oa; so for anyone planning to travel to Scotland, or going to Islay – this is a must see.

David McNicoll

50+ and on the RunNo Gravatar November 21, 2011 at 12:02 AM

Stellar photo. Thanks!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar November 14, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Thanks for all the comments! This photo shot itself.

JoAnnaNo Gravatar November 14, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Beautiful! What a great way to start my Monday morning!

Nomadic SamuelNo Gravatar November 13, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Phenomenal shot – the man really adds an element of intrigue.

wandering educatorsNo Gravatar November 12, 2011 at 9:02 AM

amazing. and that photo, with the man walking? extraordinary.

KenNo Gravatar November 11, 2011 at 4:41 PM


PhilNo Gravatar November 11, 2011 at 1:03 PM

What a transporting post. Beautiful stuff man.

Willie WallaceNo Gravatar November 11, 2011 at 12:20 PM

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