Wednesday, 16 March 2011


Sounds from the sea shore
Waves marking passage of time
Music of my soul

Misty in Edinburgh today, the city seemed hushed by a low lying blanket of cloud which settled over the Firth of Forth. Hidden from view, as sunset approached night fall the day's light faded without the sun ever breaking through at all.

Foggy days, when our familiar landmarks are hidden from sight, other senses can be heightened if we take time the to explore them. For example, as a child, in unusual weather or at unusual times for a family outing, every now and then we would all set off on an "adventure" - a moonlight picnic after midnight or a "dawn patrol" at first light to watch the sun rise over the sea.  Or, the ocassional walk along the seashore in thick fog, waiting for the sun or wind to clear away the clouds but enjoying the disorientated feeling of mist swirling around us. The chilling touch of tiny water droplets on the face, the gentle taste and smell of salty sea air and muffled sounds of seabirds calling out to each other, hidden from sight in the rolling banks of fog moving in from the sea. 

My parents wanted to teach me about nature, the environment and how to get around safely in different situations. From her fishing family background my mum's forefathers had certainly earnt their living through the closest understanding and respect for nature. In small boats, with no radio or radar, a fisherman's safety depended on 'reading' the weather with the full respect the changing conditions required. Of course, out with my family, we were never in any danger but all these "adventures" nurtured in me a 24/7 appreciation of the environment. Being outdoors was more than some "sunny day trip" to the beach. This grounding seeing me embrace, as much now as then, the experience of walking alone along a deserted beach at dawn.

Today's mists reminded me of a snowy trip I made some weeks back when Scotland was in the full grip of winter. Then, in a sudden and heavy fall of snow I sheltered in my car, waiting as I watched the falling snowflakes begin to sparkle - caught in rays of silvery light as the sun broke through the clouds. No rays of sun light today but still, a chance to appreciate the sounds of nature painting pictures all around me.

Swirling shrouds of mist
A new vision of nature
Four senses to three

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