I write this from my desk where I watch swallows arc. Blue-tits teeter on the telephone lines. Today’s clouds are heavy and low, a sky of dust and cotton over the sea. Through the window is our shared garden, edged by tall Scots pines, and backed by a corrugated-iron transport garage. Beyond this, and the […]
The weather was unkind to us, again. Damp, bitter February, and barely above zero. That was no reason not to venture outdoors. A neighbour had told us that she sometimes runs from our home in Portobello to Musselburgh, then onto the lagoons.
Blue and lush with a jewel-green bottom, and skirted by tropical forests, is what fictional lagoons conjure for me. Places of mystery: the splash of leaping, neon-scaled fish, the silent plummet of a stone. Adventure. Still, winter in Scotland could bring some natural beauty, at least; a retreat, a haven.
I first began to walk in nature when I couldn’t. When I could only lie in brief snatches on my sofa and peer at the world outside through the window. Where the horse chestnut tree grew leaves and lost them, when it’s rose-pink blossom bloomed and fell. I would dream of the breeze on my skin, imagine the feel of the ground under my feet. Then, exhausted, I would to return to bed.
We arrived under the half-closed eye of the moon. “Let’s go down to the sea!” I said.
We trundled our suitcases to the bottom of our street and to the edge of the shore. The midnight wind whipped our skin, and the waves crashed in the dark beyond our sight. We stood and breathed in the tang of sea air. We were home.