Picture This

Winter’s distant light bursts like an epiphany over Loch Voil and the Braes o’ Balquhidder. That luminant lathe cleaves off the fatigue of waking half a day and a world away. Brisk air rolls down the hills, the loch’s fresh water overflows the shores, and everywhere light takes shape. At dusk the sundering sun flings light into Voil’s mirror to send the shadows skyward. Such beauty lies down many a fold in the heart of Scotland, through narrows long forgotten and over hills graced only by the sun’s daily tread.

From Ireland long ago came a man of Christian raiment to the Braes o’ Balquhidder… Read more...

{ 1 comment }

The road to Loch Tummel hangs upon the hillside like a poem upon the lip. There is the warmth of fire on the hills in autumn. Gold and orange, copper and bronze, sloping upon green cleaving deep into the blue. Here at the eastern edge of the loch, the Queen’s View, where the mind and heart exult in harmony. Lambs call the ewes by the shore while November wind pirouettes on the water and draws the eye ever westward to brooding Schiehallion, Rannoch Moor, and Glencoe. The Queen in question was not Victoria, as she had assumed, but Isabella, the wife of Robert the Bruce, who stared west in that bright age and marveled at what was possible.
Read more...

{ 6 comments }

Coigach is a land of emerald and sapphire set in ephemeral bands of golden light. Dusk falls high upon the clock at midsummer in these glimmering, northerly latitudes. It is long past bed, but I am waiting with the rabbit kits and lambs for the darkness. The Summer Isles drift from Loch Broom’s mouth, wild and vacant, drown mountains, as two red deer descend to the water to stare at the archipelago’s titans, Tanera Mòr and Tanera Beag.

Night never quite arrives. The clouds stretch their purple fingers and the air turns to a gloaming nether where we become shades of ourselves, flickering between ages…
Read more...

{ 4 comments }

Driven east from Perthshire across farmlands, chasing rainbows cartwheeling over the foothills, I turned north, alone, upon Old Jock’s Road. The Angus Glens cleave deep into the Cairngorms Mountains as if rent by Fenrir howling toward imprisonment, and it seems all roads end in Glen Clova where the turgid clouds tear themselves on the icy crowns of Driesh, Mayar, and Ben Tirran. They spill themselves upon the wild wind running circles upon the mountain slopes. A pack of gusts rip the sky, revealing heaven’s blue viscera, and a blade of light carves the hollow beneath the gods of ice.

When will they speak again? Read more...

{ 5 comments }

Up the serpent’s back from Applecross, twisting, turning, ascending into lofted realms of rare light and old wonder. From where have these wolverine winds come? Hailing from no compass point but down from the overworld, they plummet on rays of light lancing the distant, smudged hills. I stagger across the lifted landscape and gaze from the crown of Bealach na Bà, confident that here stands another lightbridge, a close cousin of Bifröst, hewing the clouds into glimmering runes.

It is a speechless language drawn only on the iris, for such vistas are mirrors. We see what calls to be seen — beauty, awe, wonder, fear, anxiety, loneliness… Read more...

{ 3 comments }