ALL day, the clouds had
hung over the quiet loch. The waters were subdued to a monotone of grey,
with only the faint white ripples at the edge to bring back a hint of
forgotten silver. Over the far hills, gold yet lingered in a vain attempt
to penetrate in the gloom, but the trees moved softly in a wet wind and
the sorrowful croon of the curlew heralded rain.
Then, it came --
big, heavy drops at first, shattering the surface of the waters, drifting
across the hills in a veil of moving silver, shutting out the distant
gold. The trees moved restlessly, fluttering their leaves at the impact of
the storm. Then the rhythm changed. The heavy, single drops gave place to
the fine patter of a shower. An intangible, misty wetness blotted and
blurred the whole landscape, so that all was seen “as in a glass, darkly,”
with the changeful Impressionism of dreams.
For perhaps half-an-hour, the downpour continued, steadily and without
relief. Then, quite suddenly, a shaft of light filtered through broken
clouds, drawing a finger of gold across the shattered reaches of the
water. A hint of blue gleamed in the sombre sky -- widened and spread,
while a fresh wind chased away the clouds. The cry of the curlew rose to a
high, rippling note of ecstasy.
The trees shook themselves. The grasses straightened their bent backs. The
loch danced in to kiss anew the drying pebbles on the shore. Proudly --
fresh and green and sparkling with a million diamonds -- the rejuvenated
world raised its head for the caresses of the sun.
Loch Insh, view of north-western shore,