Tuesday, 30 October 2012
It has been so so long since I got to walk and sit on the old railway line. I miss it and despite there not being much sun for pretty photographs, we went along this weekend so see the changes. There have been some pretty dramatic nature-born happenings. The entrance to my little den was completely blocked by a huge old tree, blown down by a storm. Sort of sad, but an old man who lives nearby had cleared the track itself so walkers could still do the walk to the village of Avoch, effort worth its use as he now has enough firewood for the next year or at least once it is not longer green. We have been along and collected some of the small limbs for kindling and there is plenty left to enrich the forest floor. The same storm had brought down several more trees.
I took a box of woodland wild flower seeds to scatter recently - a little pay back - and I shall start filling my hidden bird feeders soon. While due to lack of transport or wicked dark weather this summer, I have not been able to visit the track, I have been reading books on walks or walking (some of which are listed below and highly recommended). I love finding writers that echo in their craft, the feeling I get from walking and being silent within the found ways, walks, woods, beaches; the effortless meditation easily wrought.
I urge you to read the reviews for both these books, for unlike my daughter, whose excellent reviews can be read at The Mountains of Instead, I lack the skills to entice you. I will say I got very different things from each title; Robert Macfarlane writes exquisitely, he made me want to walk and walk and walk, as I did when young. I used to do midnight hikes across the Pentland Hills to Flotterstone and I have walked from Sligachan to Elgol. Now that I am less fit, these books both feed my yearning and my love of walking in the natural world. Mcfarlane sets out much as Laurie Lee did many years before, to just walk out. You can almost feel the crunch of his feet on snow or hear the gentle squelch and feel the slight tingle of fear as he finds his way along the edges of ancient mud flats. He follows ancient sea routes to St Kilda in the company of Ian Stephen, someone we knew well when we lived in the Outer Hebrides. In fact, he meets and talks to many folk we knew and counted as friends while living there, they share his interest and are very knowledgeable of routes and ways. McFarland writes with a tenderness and grace and in one place a certain terror; do read 'The Old Ways' if you can.
'The Idle Traveller', a smaller book, just urges one, in the nicest way possible way, to travel slowly. I agree with his premise that if we get there (wherever 'there' is) by plane, we are processed and really don't 'travel' at all, we are processed then arrive. Go by train, walk and listen... travelling need not be a chore, stressful to implement, but a joy of discovery and happenstance. Keiran, like so many philosophers and writers, helps us to know that the getting there can be just as worthwhile as the arrival, the more so for taking your time.
|Golden reflections near Loch Morlich|
Now back to the old Railway line between Avoch and Fortrose. Slowly giving up its autumn secrets once more, a slow reveal. Above, the usually muddy rutted path on to the track is now covered by purest gold, pine needles. How wonderful if all that passes could have such a burst of glory before it dies.
|Mila (whose name means 'Glory') walks on paths of gold, we gather kindling and memories.|
The autumn song, the fanfare before rest, is the seasons' glory and delight. Walk, see and write prettier words than me, get out there, feel the leaves from the shaken branch dance about your head, simple pleasures for complex times.
Monday, 28 May 2012
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Come out little tree, I know you are in there somewhere.
I once said to a friend that I thought the ivy looked beautiful, they took exception to this saying that the ivy strangles the host tree and therefore made it ugly. I have to disagree, the tree is still there underneath, it is still beautiful and I think quite lovely with its dress of green, it is all part of the natural process. It's a type of arrogance to say it should not be just as it is. The old railway line is just doing its own thing, if only all woods and all forests everywhere could be just left but we always have to think we can manage these places and so often in doing so destroy. But then perhaps this is part of our natural process, it's all about balance and acceptance.
When I left the house to go to the track there was an inch of snow in the garden and a lawn full of fluffed up birds waiting for food. In the image above there are traces of snow but with it being south facing and by the sea you have to get along there very quickly after snow falls to catch it in photos. As you can see the track is almost bare, there is woodrush and some evergreens plus of course the various types of ivy. One of these days I shall give you some names of ivy and their meanings. The photo below is in fact not the track but the forests near Aviemore just a few miles down the road and still holding lots of snow even the beach at Loch Morlich was white instead of sandy yellow.
Monday, 14 November 2011
tears away autumn.
by john tiong chunghoo.
Hmm... he claims this is a Haiku, I don't agree; strictly speaking it is not, but it is rather lovely and unless am inspired by the end of downloading the tracks offerings this sunday, it will have to do... but I challenge all readers (yes, all six of you!) to write me an autumn haiku..three lines, 17 syllables, five each line, yes yes I know you all know that but just in case...I shan't be at all worried if I don't get any contributions, just a thought. Sya has such good ideas to get folk reading or interacting with her blog and she has hundreds of followers.
Nearly done... it's just my sunday walk really, but it has given me so much including being exhibited and having a whole day on a photo shoot by a acclaimed scottish photographer for a book I was included in. It has given quiet moments when I have missed the islands to a point of grieving and of course it has hidden me in plain sight when I really have been grieving or just wanting peace and quiet. I have seen deer and owls and hedgehogs and lovely people. It has taught me really look at what is around me and that, of course, we are not finished yet.
Leaf on leaf falling
this tree and that softly weeps
yellow tears, the green clings
Sunday, 30 October 2011
As I get older I think more of shadows, there was a beautiful shimmering shadow on our wall, except that a shadow cant shimmer or glitter but the movement was of shimmering leaves. Is it real I asked a soon to be four year old. "yes" she said.
till next time.
Sunday, 11 September 2011
tick tock the old clock ticks to golden bit by bit and very soon.