Sunday, September 06, 2009

Morning on the Moss

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Still jet lagged and not sure what day it is, but now I know I am definitely back in Scotland: nettle stings on my fingers, a grey sky with soft, sticky rain, and my first walk along the Greenland Moss--my new neighbourhood.

She has been lying just out of reach for months now. We have passed her in the car, admired her from the windows of the house, talked about getting to know her, and today was my first brief introduction. The grey skies enhanced the purple-lavender-red of the heather and the reeds and the thistles. The rain softened the sounds. The only creature stirring was the large draft horse tethered on the grass. He watches my approach, studying me to see if I might have a carrot for him--poised between his desire and his caution, he stands still until I am close enough that he can see that I am neither a threat nor a carrot-bearer and so he turns his heavy head back to grazing.

The grass near the edge oozes with the accumulation of recent rains and I am reminded that this peat-soil is a dynamic blending of earth and water. My shoes are soaked before I have ventured very far beyond the edge. There are large cuts where the peat has been removed for hearth fires. They are a bit too wide for a step or a leap and the water is visible in the bottom. As always, the water visible belies the water below. I could easily step into it and be in soft damp earth up to my knee. I need to have my boots and my walking sticks to venture further.

I nod to the heathers just out of reach and return to the paved road. Familiarity with wildness has to be earned. I walk with my head turned firmly to the side like a soldier on parade but the parade is in the colours and the texture sliding into one another as I walk along. My scrutiny reveals a lochan in the midst just beyond what I could have seen from a car window or from the house. The first of what I hope will be many moods, many secrets revealed through closer acquaintance with this new neighbour.

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At 8:22 PM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

As very often happens, I feel as if I've been there with you. How wonderful that you're back there and bringing the joys of the natural surroundings to us!

At 12:16 AM, Blogger Hayden said...

I love watching the world through your eyes!

At 12:20 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Welcome back, Hayden. I thought you had gone awa'. I think you and Mspiggy and I could have a bonnie time walking the heather. Perhaps some day. Meanwhile, I can share.

At 8:31 PM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

I'd like that.


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