Reflection

River Lochay, Killin

The snow has melted from the mountains leaving only patches of white in the deepest crevices. The rivers are roaring and, with the constant rain fall in the last week, the river banks have burst. From the park the farmers field looks like loch Tay and the ducks have reallocated there for the day.

Falls of Dochart, Killin

With an abundance of water though, comes an abundance of reflections, and I love a reflection. It’s like the water is capturing just a fragment of the world and holding it still.

Despite all of the flooding though, today was the first time this year that the warmth from the sun touched my skin. It is a wonderful feeling. I was mid walk with Helen and the dogs and I just stopped, closed my eyes, and soaked it up. Recognising this moment is an important tradition for me. I like to acknowledge that I am experiencing the cusp of change – in other words spring, and then let that feeling of newness wash over me. I know now that my little world will become greener, the garden will come to life, walks will be slower and days longer.

But returning to the now and to the reflections I spoke of earlier, I would like to leave you with a prompt.

PROMPT

Write a small memoir/true life story where water plays a significant part. Imagine you are viewing that moment in a puddle, what does it look like? Really delve into the details, what colours do you see, what shapes? Is there multiple faces in your puddle or just your own? How does the person you are now feel about the reflection? How does the person you where then feel about what was happening at the time? Can you compare and contrast your emotions? Has the shape of the puddle changed over time? If you could drop a pebble into your puddle and distort it or even change the reflection, what would you want it changed to? Or would you freeze it that way forever?

Happy writing folks

Heron

Snow whipped down the Tarmachan Ridge, and gathered in hoof prints in a field by the Lochay.

That’s where we met.

You, hunkered in a grey fur coat
Bedraggled and stiff
Gathering the cold
Like a sobering drunk at a bus stop Knowing the last bus has gone,

And me, cowering from the wind,
Dressed for Siberia,
With hot-breath-blow-back flowing Like the Dochart beneath my mask.

I might have passed you by
Had it not been for the sun’s flame
Painted on the dead bracken
Catching my eye.

But I stopped, and a moment passed, You fluffed your feather boa, And I straightened my mask.



A Snow Kiss

Killin Scotland

We had so much snow yesterday but most of it melted as it hit the ground. It did lie on the grass through. When I went out with the dogs, on a not very adventurous walk around the park, the snow was blowing sideways, big thick snow that made visibility difficult. I kept my face to the ground, hurrying my wee legs as quick as I could with the vision of a steaming mug of tea waiting for me at home, and of course my jammies.

It’s easy to take the surrounding beauty for granted when the weather isn’t to your liking, and to be honest, the above picture was taken on another day when the wind was just a wee whistle and, the snow just a wee crust on the periphery of my walk. It wasn’t until I was on my last lap of the park when a flake of snow, a giant flake of snow, landed on my lip. It was only a second before it melted, but the wee snow kiss ripped me out of my daydream and I found myself in the middle of a snow globe. There wasn’t another in sight, just me and my snow patterned dog, who looked at me wondering why I had stopped. It was a moment of absolute beauty, from the cold fizz of the melting snow on my lip, to my tongue reaching for a taste. I was utterly alive. For the remainder of my walk I kept my head up, letting the snow land on my face, my hat, but it only took.a single kiss to bring me into the present moment.

What is the weather like where you are?

The Old Cemetery

The sign for the old cemetery in Killin, Scotland

Imagine stumbling across an old grave yard. Imagine wandering amongst the dilapidated weather worn grave stones. Imagine a cold chill wrapping around your neck while a black crow squawks from a stone wall. Imagine the iron gate creaking as it swings to and fro on rusty hinges. Now imagine a shadow, small at first, but growing longer as a figure appears below the orange light on the old kirk building. Suddenly, you see a face.

Prompt

Write a story or poem about the face that appeared in the old cemetery. Who is it, what do they want? How do you feel and do you stay to talk or run as fast as you can? You decide.

Happy writing folks and thanks for visiting.

Is it a Genie or a Cloud?

The night sky in Killin

One of the best things about living in the Scottish Highlands in the wee detached village of Killin, is the night sky. It’s pretty dark at night, with little light pollution and the brightest moon I’ve ever seen. When there is a scattering of clouds, however, the sky puts on the most spectacular show of patterns and shapes, it’s like art. When the days are clear and the rain is at bay, we have a new exhibition to indulge in every night, and often with twinkling stars dotted in between. That’s not to say it’s not freezing, wrapping up is essential for sky gazing. The picture that accompanies this post was taken in December 2020. It was taken on my phone and zoomed in. I couldn’t help but notice a genie smoking his pipe and pondering what’s to become of this bloody pandemic.

What do you see?

The night sky is a great place to start for writing inspiration. Perhaps on a clear night, get yourself wrapped up and venture out into the dark.

Listen
Look
Smell
Feel

By tuning into the senses, you might be surprised at what the night has to offer. For me, on a night like the one in December, I would hear the hoo-hoo of the owl, the swishing of the trees on the old railway, the creaking of the car port roof, possibly a car in the distance bit mostly not.

The sky can be anything from a yellow oil slick, to a blue fox stretching lazily between the seven sisters and the plough.

There’s usually a smell of a burning wood in the air, the smell of wet grass, sweet frost or mulch. Sometimes even the smell of laundry from someone’s tumble dryer.

I will feel the sharpness of the air as it reaches my lungs, the sting of cold on my cheeks, my feet on the ground, my heart beating, the clothes on my skin.

This is present moment awareness, a moment of mindful contemplation. All of it relevant as I stand completely alive, sharing the sky with those brave enough to be out too.

Happy writing folks.

Winter Sun in Scotland

These are some of the mountains that can be seen from the village of Killin

I struggled to find the motivation to walk the dogs today. I had a busy morning delivering an emergency package to my partner, Helen, who is currently in hospital, and returned home tired and with a headache. But those pretty brown eyes kept pleading for their walks, and who could resist the eyes of a Labrador (never mind two). So, I got them rigged up and we tottered off to the field at the back of the house. It has been a lovely clear day here in Killin and the sky at 3pm had barely a cloud. We wandered into the farmers field, along by the river and with one of the best views of the mountains. That’s when little patches of red began to appear on the furthest mountain, then slowly, as the light dimmed, it spread right over the mountains in front. Of course, I had to stop and capture the moment on my phone. I even took a video for Helen. But for a moment, the smallest moment, because the dogs can’t stay still for long, I stopped, put my phone on my pocket, and just looked. I felt the cold air in my lungs, the nip of icy wind on my face and my heart filled with the sight before me. I felt alive.

Changing Perspective

Loch Earn on her side

If you want to enrich your story, look at it from a different perspective. For example, if this photo is turned the correct way around, what does the protagonist see? But when it’s turned on its side, the view suddenly changes. Could the protagonist be lying down, or have fallen? Have they been looking for clues to solve a mystery that is revealed from this new perspective? Changing the way wee look at a scene, by either changing where we view it from or, from a different character’s point of view, can bring a whole new perspective to the scene, and perhaps add a new strand to the story.

What do you see in this image?

Autumn Equinox

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com
 Amber mist sweeps the woods
 and treetops burst like fireworks
 red, orange, yellow and green -
 against the silhouetted Trossachs,  
 
 Leaves plucked from branches -
 A leg and a wing, to see the king,
 Fall under Wellington boots,
 Into a cold casserole of dead summer.  
 
 The hill is a graveyard.
 Thistle corpses are crispy baskets.
 Bramble bushes bow low, and autumn 
 Shoots jets of freezing air,  
 
 I feel them creep into my hair as I descend
 Into the valley. 
 
 A swirling cloud hovers over the grass 
 And a snapping twig halts
 A tap-dancing gull, it hops sideways
 Over a flattened mole hill. 
 
 I pause in the shadow of a goal post, 
 While the ghost of summer wraps around my neck
 Like a feather boa. 

©EilidhGClark

Sub-Zero

Photo by iOnix on Pexels.com

I am the talk of the village,

Hanging out undies in mid November

When the mountains are snow capped

And the wind is wheeling the whirly gig

In sub-zero blusters.

But when this morning turned up

With a tangerine sun spewed on roof tiles

And a sky split open like that last free day in March

I rummaged through mucky clothes,

Separating darks and lights.

And now they flip and flap, and high five the sky

Like primary coloured kites

In a sub-zero November sun.

I am the talk of the village

Because I’ve pegged out woollens too,

Rammed the lines in a slap-dash

Rush because the sun is at its height

And the shadows that lurk behind the trees

Will soon spill onto the porch.

And I know my laundry won’t dry in this sub-zero sunshine,

But will collect instead,

The wind that skims the

Heather trimmed mountain crags,

And spray from the thrashing river.

And only when the shadows come

And the wood smoke weaves

A waft into the wool, will I unclip those pegs,

Hang damp washing inside,

Out of sight, on the clothes horse instead

And remember the day

When villagers nattered in windows frames

And my knickers danced free.

EilidhGClark