Lockdown continues and on a rainy day there is less time spent in the garden and more time to think, reflect and write.
The snow and the wind and the rain of hills and mountains
Days in the sun and the tempered wind and the air like wine
And you drink and you drink till you’re drunk on the joy of living*
Summer in lockdown and a heatwave;
we walk each day – average three miles.
Stay local we’re told, so the hills remain
tantalising, too far away for now.
Each morning we look out on Larg,
Lamachan, Curleywee, Cairnsmore.
Can we stay fit to stand again on the tops,
to gaze down on our home in the Machars?
The months slip by, the sun beats down.
I think back to that cold November day
we climbed Cairnsmore, reached the
snow-capped summit in sunshine.
Resting backs against a drystane dyke
we sheltered, drank the wine of the air,
feasted eyes on feathered cirrus and frosted grasses
while our thoughts drifted hundreds of miles
south, to where you lay, immobile. Once,
you would have shared this walk with us,
quoted Ewan MacColl. That November day
we toasted your friendship, and the joy of living.
We knew you didn’t have long; that fact made
our own lives seem more precious. You were
one who lived mindfully, who lived for the now.
On Cairnsmore, we followed the map of your life.
*The Joy of Living – written and sung by Ewan MacColl
not long before his death.