Stones for Advent – small winter gems of writing

Looking down the croft and across the loch to Trotternish ridge

As I mentioned here on Nov 26th, I’ll be taking part in Writing Our Way Home’s  river of stones writing month in January. It was something I very much enjoyed doing last January and I’m looking forward to it.

But aside from that, I’ve also decided to do a collection of Advent stones and I’m publishing them daily on Twitter. I’m also going to post them here a week or so at a time. I may alter them slightly for the blog versions as I don’t have to be restricted to 140 characters but they’ll be mostly the same in both places. They won’t be of a particularly religious nature – although various festivals of light may be implied/referred to, but, I hope, they convey some of the sense of anticipation, of wonder, of light overcoming dark that a northern December inevitably brings. The ‘stones’ are meant to be a written record of a moment of stillness and observation – of mindfulness – experienced on that day.

So here goes – below are days 1 to 6 of my Advent stones. They can also be seen daily on Twitter with the hashtag #smallstone.

winter garden

One: Sun just up. Air crackles cold. A V-skein of greylags pass above, backed by the snow-topped Cuillin. Ravens line a roof ridge cawing complaints to the gannets opposite.

Two: Robin hopped in front of me on the hail-strewn pavement. I looked him in the eye, spirits lifted. Cheery wee bird.

Three: A Christmas baby. A scan of her in her liquid world. I anticipate my granddaughter’s birth – impatient to meet my little stranger.

Four: My  Magnificat – Love and loss; labour and rest; friends foes; ease challenge; children elders; sickness health; home and travel; want and plenty. A rich life lived and wisdom gained. Why me? Why not? Who knows? But I am grateful.

Five: Clouds, like smoke from a volcano, emerge from the top of Fingal’s Seat. Slats of light behind the hill. All that remains of the day.

Six: No fear of falling. No sense of a chill. Embracing the novelty, the season, the joy in the moment. Children and snow.


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