The Black Cuillin

Cuillin Hills
Image via Flickr

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.


13th and 14th Pebbles in the Stream

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.

The Tenth Stone

A picture and its many words. Four generations – father, me, daughter, granddaughter – look out at the world. Time – generates a backwards shackle – a forward lifeline – a cherished, present bond.

Number Eight on the Stone River

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.

The Seventh Stone

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.

Sixth Stone on the Pile

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…

Stone number five

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.