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Unto The Hills
The Twilight Hour

NOT a breath of air stirred the tall reeds. Almost, it was as if life had been frozen in the act of motion, so that nothing would ever move or breathe again. The trees, dark and close-clustered in the gathering dusk, looked at their reflections in the loch. The waters, a still mirror, showed no ripple save where tiny insects danced down to set widening circles spreading to catch the light. The sudden splash of a small fish had the shattering force of an explosion.

Only the sky seemed alive. Only there did Nature continue her ceaseless task of recreating beauty. The clouds hung motionless, for there was no wind -- but softly, surely, the Pattern of Colour went on, changing and changing yet again, almost too swiftly for the dazzled eye to follow.

Now the sky was a deep turquoise blue, with streaks and whorls of blood-red on the western horizon. Now a hint of gold peeped over the distant clouds, as if the ghosts of the old Vikings looked down in shining helmets from the heavenly isles. Then the flame flickered and faded. Swiftly, silently, vast purple banners were unfurled across the sky. The first faint star awoke in a void of shadowy blue. Quietly, the sun died, and the Children of Darkness came into their own.

And still the loch was quiet. And still no breath of air stirred the tall reeds. Only the far, quavering note of an owl proclaimed the closing of the eyes of Day.

Loch Assynt, Sutherland

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