Sabre-sharp peaks along the distinctive razor ridge. Black granite and gabbro – a layered and timeless geology – guarding the island. Always there when I step out the door into the morning, into life. Sometimes hidden by the mist, but not today. Today the Cuillin stands stark, snow-topped and steadfast. A personal sentinel.
13. I stop amid the flurry and the busyness and really look at my workplace desk. Do I make a difference? Do I make things better? Do I do no harm? Am I true to others and to me in the minutes, hours and days of my once only life?
14. Lichen on sandstone – it formed unnoticed on the drystone wall – over who knows how long. Nature goes about her business regardless.
Birdsong – at last – in the late dawn a bit of hope for lighter days. The blackbird sings a sharp and purposeful song and tails off to a ‘so there’ mutter. The robin is irrepressibly cheerful and irresistibly positive. At last the crows don’t have it all their own way.
Kitchen flooded by dishwasher, car broken down, first day back at work. But the Earl Grey tea is hot and aromatic and the writing on the cheery red mug tells me to Keep Calm and Carry On. My smile is wry, but I do my best. Perspective is regained.
My bookshelves are a memoir. My biography can be read there. Childhood favourites, school prizes, university text books, reference volumes, travel guides, memoirs, self-help instructionals, volumes of poetry and countless novels – light to literary. All represent a phase, a stage, a need, a treat. All represent me.
A crow on every fence post – ravens and hoodie-craws – sentinel the gloomy, grey garden. Many beady eyes look at me as I open the kitchen curtains. No cheery chirping from these bully boys. They are menacingly beautiful and intelligent creatures. The perfect January birds.
It wasn’t an epiphany exactly, but I did suddenly noticed the dust, the unvacuumed carpets and the pile of laundry. Another Christmas season over. So I followed my twelfth night vision – I re-read the cards, resolved not to leave it another year before seeing some of the senders, packed away the little tree and the decorations and did some housekeeping. Now all is tidy, clean and fresh. Good feeling – till next time…
The sun came back to the island today. I walked to the hill above the bay. The tide was out. Ducks squabbled, flapped and swam. Gannets soared and dipped. Oyster catchers patrolled the shore. Air and light were sharp and clear. Cobwebs swapped for clarity.