Writing Place

Mountain Storm

The sun is sliding behind a mountain gilding its edges in gold and turning valleys into creeping blacks. The loch in the distance is silver blue. Midges are rattling around like giant specks of dust but with legs and bodies and teeth. The air is musty with the damp aroma of peat mixed with traces of bracken and pine. It has grown significantly cooler in the past half an hour and a darkening cloud is brewing in the east.

A veil of milky mist tumbles closer turning landscape detail into shadowy blur. I am moving as fast as I can. Feet land heavily and heels dig in. The ground is steep and rocky. I have a fear of mis-step and an ankle bending over in a twist. A drop of rain smatters against my cheek – I wipe it with my sleeve. A flash of light sends a deep echoing through vaulted space. Everything on the ground becomes very small. Drizzle grows into a steady patter of rain. Then a giant roar and heaven’s tap bursts open. The world is a deluge of gushing, splashing water hitting hard terrain and running in rivulets down craggy sides. I am in full flight, a pair of moving legs and squinting eyes beneath a tightly toggled coat.

Garden Pond

Golden, navy blue and moss green together like a painting that shouldn’t make sense but does, in harmony and with beauty, as well. Little white flowers on thin long green stems, delicate spindly forms, bordering its edge. There is both figure and ground in the whole image of the pond. Depending on what I focus on I can see either shapes of rocks and plants, and lily pads reaching for the sun or else reflections of surrounding trees and skies; I cannot see both at the same time. The deepest part of the pool, at the centre, stays hidden in impenetrable black; no light gets in or out.

On warm days frogs sit sunbathing, feeling rays on their spotted backs, while their feet keep cool in the wet. If I keep still and watch, things happen. Insects skate across its surface with buoyant feet, birds and wasps stop to drink, leaves fall in and ripples appear – I always wonder where the vibrating rings go next.

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