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.
Old friend – like warm slippers or a comfy sweater, slipped back into easily. But also priceless and valued like a fine wine or beautiful jewellery – because of the backstory and provenance. Together, reunited – as we were thirty-five years ago – not crumpled and a wee bit worn – but light, liberated, laughing.
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.
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.