Saturday, January 19, 2008

Seeing through the Cold

With the moon slightly higher in the sky than the sun at three o'clock in the afternoon, it is a struggle to believe that the days are getting longer. I made this observation in the parking lot of our regular in the company of a good friend. She reminded me that it had been worse. More importantly, she reminded me that even though the sun is slow to rise and stays low in the sky, the unmistakable signs of spring are making themselves felt. The colors of the hills and the moors are casting off their ice blue shadows and warming themselves into redder browns and lusher greens. Even the lochans have shifted from an impenetrable black blue to a warmer watery hue. It is quiet, subtle but unmistakable shift into spring.

She wanted to show me a favorite walk she has discovered. Although the cold wind blustered and sent needles of cold through two layers of clothing so that we could not walk the length of it, nonetheless it was a great treasure rolled out in front of me. The tiny village of Portskerra looks like a scattering of houses from the road, but following the road down to the harbor reveals many more houses clustered amiably together closer to the sea out of sight from the main road. The tiny sign that says simply, "Portskerra Harbour" is a marvel of understatement.

The ambiguous sun of this season of transition illuminated the rocks on the near shore with such intensity that the pink and blue and green of the sandstone stood out against the brown grey stone. The water danced amicably with the wind today rather than fighting, so the waves rolled onto the rocks and over them in graceful billows and sprays with the white of the edge more like lace than angry froth. I would not like to be here on a day less amicable. Portskerra is infamous for two particularly tragic disasters at sea.

We struggle with the wind long enough to climb a sheep-made track to the top of a hill and watch the sea dancing below on the rocks. To our right we see back to our own neighborhood. We are only about 6 miles from home, but it is a different world.

She explains that when she first moved here a man who lives in Portskerra had told her about this treasure. He told her that in winter when things are cold and grim and you wonder why you came here, come to this place and remember.

It was a good gift from him to my friend and then on to me. And now I share it with you.


At 5:57 PM, Blogger Heather L. said...

It makes me want to visit Portskerra!

At 1:45 AM, Blogger Hayden said...

sounds absolutely lovely!

At 3:49 PM, Blogger scorrie said...

as usual, masterly description // a super corner out of the strife of the world // scorrie //

At 1:38 AM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

Will you show it to me next time I visit?

At 8:51 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

You are all welcome to walk up the hill with me. I'll do the next best thing and load some photos as soon as I get roll developed.
Am I the last person in the world to use a film camera?


Post a Comment

<< Home