Picture This

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.
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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…
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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...

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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...

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Following the sun west from Achnasheen through glens gouged by glaciers, the road to Wester Ross flutters like a ribbon lofted from a child’s hand. Sweeping slopes of earth and forest leap toward the powder blue sky where lavender-tinged clouds break upon the peaks. Then, crossing Glen Docherty’s ramparts, a vision. The moments fragment, for I am now standing in the wind with this view in my eyes, Loch Maree hung like a sapphire between the oaks of Letterewe and Slioch’s eminence.

That is not electricity I feel. It is the resonant signal of the sixth stirring beneath the five, awoken by this magnetic beauty. There is perfection in the natural world… Read more...

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