Walking the track again, into the first high wind of autumn, after a week of continuing horror stories about the ever-more disturbed earth and the ongoing satire of inactivity that is modern politics. It’s times like this when whole sections of the path disappear behind the curtain of cluttered thoughts spinning in me like fierce static. Three words have been circling me like a buzzard all the way up here – “Just move on.”
The farmers have cut and baled bracken for winter bedding. The ground is bare. I’ve been reading about beech woods, how the trees feed each other, how even the stumps of long fallen trees can still be green below the bark, still alive because other trees are nourishing them through their roots. I’ve never seen a mature beech wood. This hill should be on the southern border of a temperate rainforest stretching from Assynt. I don’t know why the absence of something that hasn’t existed for millennia makes me mourn, makes me angry.
I see an old farmer riding his quadbike just beyond the pool, and there is an orange shape nodding behind him. The shape becomes a bobble hat worn by a little girl who is giggling and shreaking with excitement as her grandfather climbs the slope at less than half speed. Beyond them a field far below in the valley suddenly flares green under a shaft of sunlight. There is no more beautiful place on earth than this. A place like this can stretch like a root though the generations, keeping us nourished, even though there is little to nourish it.
I stop beside the pool and watch wind shape water. A patch of reeds quivers, slate grey reflections flooded out by the white of the low sun.
Just watch. You don’t need anything more.