Water and Mist
A lot of rain has fallen this past week. The land is saturated. After a night of high winds and the drumming of raindrops against the windows (plus little sleep!), I was amazed by the level of water one day, especially in the flowing burn, which was full almost to brimming. It was incredible to see the peaty water cutting its regular route through the land. It has always been there, but now it seemed more noticeable than normal, even from the kitchen window.
Before all the water was about to be absorbed by the land, I decided to step out and follow its winding route down to the beach, stopping now and then to marvel. The water was rushing at such a speed and in such a torrent. That would have made for a good dinghy run from the top of the road, something my friends would have done on a day like today.
Getting nearer the sea, the burn takes on a peaty colour, revealing ambers and golds as it winds its way past the stone bridge and hits the rocks in its estuary, where the ducks often settle on calmer days. It’s the most beautiful and unusual colour - something I noticed after first arriving in the north of Scotland many years ago. It is like pints of Guinness rushing down. I know some might say ‘If only'…. We’d certainly be wealthy now if that were the case! But it’s not Guinness. It's something much more tied to the land, and a reflection of the non-renewable resources in the earth. The peat in the soil creates that rich amber hue. Perhaps I should try and make a paint with it. Again, if only.
When it meets the saltwater it becomes brackish, and results in such a beautiful range and contrast of colour. The sea waves take on the tinge of gold as they roll in closer and burn and sea meet. The light breaks through the cloud and highlights the tops of the breakers and ripples.
The sea seems to be rising as the weather gets wilder, waves hitting the edges of bluffs and the grasses of dunes at high tide.
When I got down to the sea’s edge, I became enveloped by the light and a contagious energy in the salty atmosphere. The force of the waves caused a mist to rise up which could be seen clearly against the silhouette of cliffs in the distance.
It reminded me of Niagara Falls, in the Niagara region of Ontario where I am from and where my parents live. We would usually go to the Falls when family from the Netherlands or other friends came to visit, as it was only a half hour’s drive away. My favourite point to stand at the Falls is right where the water drops from the Niagara River into the abyss below. The power and force, not to mention the amount of the water going over the edge, is incredible. The crashing sound drowns out all else and you stand there in a trance. I took these photos below on one of my recent trips to Ontario.
It's something about rushing water and mist - the feeling of movement and energy it brings, and being alive in that moment.
Back in the Bay, the birds feel it too and no doubt are delighted by the fish and crustaceans that are stirred up by the rough seas.
HERE LIES OUR LAND by KATHLEEN JAMIE
Here lies our land: every airt Beneath swift clouds, glad glints of sun, Belonging to none but itself.
We are mere transients, who sing Its westlin' winds and fernie braes, Northern lights and siller tides,
Small folk playing our part. 'Come all ye', the country says, You win me, who take me most to heart.