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
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