‘Will you come with me to the beach?’
‘No,’ she said, ‘I have to make myself ready for church.’
So, I walk alone, only me and my dog and God.
It is a sunny late September Sunday,
mild and beautiful.
A late Skylark praises it with her song.
Sheltered by a wisp of marram grass,
the pure shining yellow of buttercups,
trembles gently in the wind’s breath.
Far away, on Sandhill,
a long chain of sheep is lining slowly along the slope
and above them geese fly by, calling excitedly.
The Minch gently splashes on white sand,
while a flock of nervous Turnstones chatter away
further up on the rocks.
A happy dog runs before me, along the tideline,
chasing for seaweed ‘branches’ to play with,
inviting me to throw them onto the water.
I bend to find a group of Cowries, freshly brought in last night by the sea, and wonder about the reds, oranges, purples and wine colours and almost geometric patterns on some broken bits of urchin shell.
The Light this morning has an uplifting, transparent, almost otherworldly quality,
like the tune of a violin played on higher, unknown key, by the hands of a master.
It fills my soul with joy.
The Harris mountain lie silent, their music the accompanying drone.
By the beach’s end a curlew calls, repeatedly,
and I have not the words to tell the beauty of this haunting, pure sound.
It is my Sunday morning church bell.
(Sadly, the grey church building on my island doesn’t sing).