Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Final Leap two Monarchs

flickr film 1 015

With the North wind howling outside it is lovely to have my feet resting near to the burner on a wee log and dreaming the dream of days gone bye..
A wee story comes to mind of a day by the river ,not long ago
So as the snow outside retreats up the ben ,no longer a carpet of pure white snow more a thread bare rug discarded across the glen.

let me tell you of a day in the magical mountains of SCOTLAND.


As i made my way down the moss covered bank i pushed gently on the silver birch branch in front of me..
I knew at once this was a place i wanted to sit and watch a while
a wee golden pool at the foot of a waterfall was visible through the wood lined banks
The silver birch was in full leafed splender  and here and there spindly branches leaned out across the peaty water and dipped there tips into the warm water.
The sky above was filled with a moon so large that it felt you could leap on it and go for a night ride across the sky .
the wee river leading from the pool was bubbling and dancing around large rocks in it’s way under the moon light
as i made my way to the edge of the pool i could see some slight movement from the surface of the pool so i carefully took my seat and focused on the spot
for the next couple of seconds nothing stirred in this wee piece of heaven ,then YES
i was sure it is .it is a salmon one of the monarchs of the mountains a fish that i believe embodies all about us Scots.
a great wanderer a fighter and such passion to reach the place of its birth

So as i sat there every nerve a tingle ,the joy at being able to witness the return of this great fish
his head out of the water looking at the waterfall for the way forward over this last great barrier to the pool of his birth less than 20 yards away.
The journey he had just completed seemed to flash in his eye a journey off thousands of oceanic miles or more, perils and dangers than he cared not to think off,the day he had finally spotted the river estuary  but he had made it and with a final sum of his energy he knew he would be there soon..
he seemed to gaze at me for a split second then with all his reserved energy he began to climb out of the water twisting this way and that in an effort to release all the energy at one single explosion and almost as if in slow motion he gained high first one foot then another and just as it seemed he would make it he fell backwards into the pool
I watched as for a couple of minutes no movement on the pool i feared he had used all his energy and with a hint off sadness i looked to the moon still beaming still beaming how many times had you seen this journey i thought .
Then a slight movement in the golden bubbly waters and i knew he was back (like i said a true SCOT) the battle was not over and with an even more dramatic burst of power he leapt clean 3 foot in the air and with the moon shinning brighter as if in encouragement a final splash at the surface he made it and with a quick glance backwards to me he headed to the pool of his birth there in the magical mountains of the northern country of Scotland..

then from nowhere fish first one or two then what seemed hundreds filled the pool and started to scale the waterfall from all angles fish leapt and failed the jump then more would leap and some succeeded this seem to send more and more hope until they seemed to take the barrier in their stride but a few with every ounce of energy spent drifted to the bank DEAD and DYING  ..

at that moment i was about to get and go home when from the corner off my eye two huge yellow things seemed to fall from the sky
the moon was hidden behind a wandering cloud but still enough light escaped to allow me to see what it was
An eagle larger and more colourful than i have ever seen swooped legs stretched out talons at the ready ,wings folded back plummeted through the gap in the trees and with an amazing accuracy landed on one of the floundering fish and gently came to earth his meal well and truly secure
With a loud call that reverberated across the glen he tucked into his meal one monarch feeding another .the way it has always been

peace and light

the dafthermit x




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A wee film about us on STVs the HOUR SHOW click on STV logo to see the film

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Andy the Daft Hermit lives 45 minutes outside Inverness with his wife Mel in an old bus parked in a layby. This current home of theirs is the longest they have ever stayed in one spot. “I’ve been travelling now 25 years,” said Andy Lowe. “Mel’s been travelling 15. One of the reasons we’ve come and stayed up here is because of Mel’s health. I wanted to bring her to the mountains for fresh air and clean water and just a slower pace of life.” Mel has had breast cancer twice, skin cancer once, and for three years believed she had bone cancer after being wrongly diagnosed. Andy’s belief in the restorative powers of the north made them pack up ‘The Black Bus’ that they live in and cross the border into Scotland. New Highland home for hermit couple Andy and Mel “I think we both believe in trying to get to a more simple way of life,” said Andy, “but it’s strange for us because we are sort of hermits, or we like to live separate, but it’s not being anti-social… it’s just the way we are that allows us to be creative.” Andy first began travelling when he left the army. Fed up with bureaucracy he packed a rucksack and left for France and has been travelling ever since. By investing any money the couple have earned into solar panels and wind generators they now live a self-sustaining existence, without electric bills, and collect rain water “straight from Heaven”. “It’s not easy,” said Mel. “There might be time when there might not be enough facilities around, but you always find a way, you know?” Rather than rejecting technology, Andy blogs about his travels online and collaborates with artists from around the world via his ‘Scratchy Heid Film Studio’, which he runs from a static trailer next to the couple’s bus. He explained his philosophy: “My belief is that if you can go through life and you drop dead and you’ve got a balance there that slightly outweighs the good than the bad, you’ve done alright. “Yesterday, with what Mel’s been through with the cancer and all that, I had a woman on one of my sites there that thanked me for the writing, for the positive things, and to me that’s worth everything. You can keep your millions, we’re not interested. That is what we do.” To check out Andy’s artwork and video projects check out his website. MORE FROM THE NORTH

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