Friday, 1 January 2010

The Tree With Lights

Image left: Ice On Balfour Bay
The Tree With Lights
Christmas Day 25th December 2009

The low winter sun had failed to reach into the depths of Balfour Bay leaving the sand with a thick coating of ice. Where the curtain of light has reached the margins it lies crumpled, bejewelling the frosted sand and chasing icy fingers from the rocks and foliage. I walk the ice bridges over an entombed stream until their fragile backs break and the granite walls of the valley echo under the sound.

Up in the sunlight the island shines, bracken and heather gilded and woven into the finest of tweeds. Even the ocean has been subdued and laps at the island’s shores sending small riffles through the shallows. Below the island’s high point a hen harrier is sailing on thin current of air while its shadow is projected almost horizontally onto rock faces by the low sun. Mid way though the bank of a turn it folds its wings and drops into the heather like stone wrapped in a handkerchief. I wait for it to emerge and it duly flaps over the ridge and out of sight.

I remember it is Christmas day and naively expect the universe to make some kind of seasonal grand gesture; maybe piped music, lights and a tree. Back on the ridge a kestrel has taken over patrolling from the harrier, I stand in the half light of the bay looking into a dome of blue as the wings of the hawk flicker.

1 comment: