Thursday, 5 November 2009

The Ice was all around

And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men or beasts we ken –
The ice was all between,

The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound!

From The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The view to come. Photo: Viv Scott
With the changing of the clocks something stirs in the Highlands. There’s a discernable feeling of the new season approaching; a switching of the gears in readiness for the long dark months ahead. Headlights illumine the daily commute. A torch comes to hand when walking the dog. Jackets and hats and gloves start to make their way onto the hooks in the hallway. The coal bucket fills and empties, the embers glow in the stove.

Then the murmuring begins. Starting low but slowly, slowly gathering and lifting, building to a clamoring gaggle: the expectant buzz. Training and boulders, hilltops and hot-aches, tall tales from times past, big ideas about times to come. Plans.

Where will you be this winter?

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