Picture This: Scott’s View at Sunset

by Keith Savage · 9 comments


The tumbling sun passes beneath the clouds and casts the Tweed valley in soft, peach light. All the lives of men have come into this span of coppery sky and fecund sward and gone, as if raked away by the long, reaching shadows of oak and hawthorn. Here, from Sir Walter Scott’s View, the Scottish Borders lay bare. The secrets of its long-abandoned towers, ruined abbeys, and crumbling forts fill the air, and the Eildon Hills, where the Faery Queen stole Thomas Rhymer away, take on the profile of a colossal face pressing up from the earth to speak them. Listening above the wind the mind overflows with the echoes of forgotten beliefs, broken promises, tears of joy and sorrow, declarations of love, and belly laughs of those who have gone before.  

I crouch on a stone wall above a hillside draped in yellow gorse flowers as the Kelso camera club set up their tripods. I wait for the clouds to slide east, the fingers of light to stretch forth after them. That moment arrives. The air swells and the view crosses from sight into melody and then beyond, a dagger of wonder cleaving deep into the heart of the unnumbered senses.


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