A thousand breaths fill the air above the threefold loch. The watery triptych aborts my drive, pulls on all the metal in my bones like a vast and irresistible magnet. I crouch in the moor scrub along the edge of the vacant road and watch those breaths pour into my throat with each inhalation. There is a faint ringing in my ears – a phenomenon I’ve experienced across Scotland at places like this – that only now strikes me as someone–or something–calling. Clouds scrape over the hills and ripple the water with their incorporeal bellies. There are unseen forces at play, but I can hear them, feel them.
My mind reaches. There are three roots on the Norse World Tree, Yggdrasil, where Odin endured a threefold death. There is the Celtic triple goddess, and the holy trinity of the Christians, the Buddha’s three bodies, the three fates, and the three pure ones. Imagine people looking at the same cloud: One sees a dragon, another sees a tree, another sees a trio. They all proclaim their righteousness. Our eyes are too laden with metaphor to parse whatever truth hides within that vaporous facade. They are meant to register beauty, to halt our movement, so that we might cast light upon our other senses and breathe.