Twenty Nine Reminders

These common thin, stick-shaped candles are st...
Image via Wikipedia

Twenty nine of them now. Twenty nine times that I’ve been taken back to that cold, snowy morning. The two-year-old whisked from her bed and taken next door. The car, the ambulance, the pain. The operating theatre – and then, “It’s a boy!” said the midwife.  “We don’t have boys in my family,” I said. “You do now!” said the doctor. And I marvelled, instantly in love – my perfect wee son. And every 17th of January, I’m taken right back there to marvel once more. Happy Birthday, son.

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.