Clouds over Skye

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The rain and clouds had gathered early in the morning, and the day had threatened to be grey and dark. However, here on the tip of Skye, even this dim cloud filtered light seemed to shimmer. Surrounded by soft light and rolling waves the wilderness of the ocean washed up in full drama on this remote edge of earth. There is something very arresting about this view which makes you stop for a while, bathed in the sounds and colours of the sea, and the soft white beach.

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It was the end of the day, and this spot on the shores of Loch Scavaig is well known for its beautiful photogenic sunsets. This time however I was alone, apart from the langoustine fishers unloading their catch. The flat cloud filtered light had seemed unpromising, and Elgol is a 15 mile drive along single track roads, and so no one else had come to watch. There was no dramatic red burst sunset, but the soft silver light and the lid of clouds across the Coullin made for a wonderful emotive experience. The restless waves told tales of loss and tears, of drowned swans and Viking shipwrecks, of sailors lost to the sea. A mother stood where I sat, day after day hopelessly praying her son and husband would be returned to her arms. Only the seals and their tearless deep eyes looked back blankly.

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You can find yourself in all this space if you’re only willing to pause and look. The mountains and the waves can unweave knots which have gathered deep in your soul. Everything can find perspective and scale among all this majestic drama. Just breathe and watch and wait….

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About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I live by the banks of the River Esk near Edinburgh, Scotland. I currently share my home with my husband, my son, my nephew and a collection of cats and dogs. I am forever snapping shots of things which catch my eye. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! I guess I'm a mixed up kind of girl. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 10 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist, and I'm employed 3 days a week as a Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Cancer Centre.
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44 Responses to Clouds over Skye

  1. Leya says:

    The inspiration I get from you makes me dance through the day!

  2. Lynne Ayers says:

    …the waves can unweave knots which have gathered deep in your soul … you have such a way Seonaid, that speaks to me.

  3. Absolutely beautiful!

  4. I like me single malt even more now! :) Wow i’s beautiful.

  5. Robin says:

    Visiting your blog is as good as meditating. Your images are beautiful and your words are so calming. Thank you. :)

  6. ladyfi says:

    Marvellous skies!

  7. Wow Seonaid … all of these have a wonderful quality to them. The light must have been magical. The first two shots are especially terrific – really. I totally love the first … the foreground is really crisp with lots of detail while the background is more diffuse and foreboding … wonderful. The cottage to the right makes the second image! Really nice work. What a beautiful spot to be able to capture with your camera. Thanks, I really enjoyed these. D

    • Thanks David, it really was a beautiful evening, these were taken around 7pm, and the light had just begun to break through the clouds to the left…..it made the sea and sand shimmer softly silver. As for the house, can you imagine living there with that amazing ever shifting view of the sea :-)

  8. restlessjo says:

    That little white gap between the mountains in that second shot is like a tip of highlighter. It’s so peaceful there with your ‘lid of clouds’. What a super expression. Have a happy week!

    • Thanks Jo. The feeling that the clouds can be like a lid which comes down and closes off the endless sky is one I’ve had for years. A steep sided Glen can look utterly different depending on whether it has it’s lid on or off!

  9. so beautiful… your images and your words. thank you for sharing with the world! xo

    • My pleasure, and thank you for letting me know you enjoyed the combination. The images usually come first, but the words weave in and out through feelings and senses as I tumble into the space :-)

  10. gwynnrogers says:

    You have such a magical and mystical quality to your words… they match your pictures perfectly. You are inspirational. Now… if only I can make MY pictures as lovely as yours!

    • Well I know your photos are as inspirational as any of mine Gwynn, but what a gorgeous and encouraging comment :-)
      Magical and mystical are two adjectives I’m happy to apply to my photos and my writing!

  11. What a perfectly lovely spot, to sit and contemplate, Seonaid. Your words are most compelling. I feel so sad for that poor wife and mother.

    • Oh I know, there are lots of sad tales of loss at sea in these parts. Just last week up near Aberdeen a fishing boat was lost with grandfather and grandson. Apparently the grandmother went out to the shore and shouted at the sea to “give me them back”….and the next day they were picked up by another fishing boat. A happy ending :-)

  12. I love the soft low cloud hanging over the mountains and the sea! You speak of the Viking shipwrecks, but you can really imagine the dragon-head prows silently emerging through the cloud cover and sea mists, catching their first glimpses of the fabled lands to the west. I’ve been watching the new series “Vikings” on the History channel which is all based on the various legends of Ragnar Lothbrok. Loving it!

    • Oh yes, the Vikings are very close to the surface up here, after all they ruled these lands for nearly 500 years :-) lots of the Hebridean clans claim Viking descent. They have discovered a Viking shipyard just the next peninsula along from here…..
      I’m also loving the new Viking series, it’s very compelling :-)

      • Oh I’m glad someone else I know is watching it :-) There are many historical sites down my way that are linked to the wars between Alfred the Great and the Danish settlers from Northumbria and the Vikings who came across from the Kent marches. Many of the Nordic Jarls who fought against Alfred were said to be the sons of Ragnar (of course “Ragnar” could well have been several different people). I’ve always been fascinated by the origins of the peoples of Britain and the Anglo-Saxons but then I read Bernhard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom and became even more intrigued!

      • Oh I adore Bernard Cornwell’s books. His Viking series and his Arthurian series….all wonderful.
        Like you I’m fascinated with the history of these Isles, especially the period after the Romans left, up till around the 9th century. The Northumbrian lot were in and around Lothian too….

      • Yay :-) Did you read The Grail Quest series? After reading Sharpe when I was younger I re-found Cornwall with that series! The last one I read was a stand-alone called The Fort which was brilliant. I really want to go to the Vikings exhibit at The British Museum :-)

      • I didn’t know there was an exhibition….must look it up.
        Yes, the a Grail Quest, starting with the Winter King….wonderful stuff. Can I assume that you’re also a game of thrones fan?

      • I am! I’ve been waiting years for the new book now. We’re being promised it for next year. My other favourites are Robin Hobb, Terry Brooks and Raymond Feist :-) I’m reading Brian Sanderson at the moment, a recent discovery who has some ingenious constructs and uses of magic!

  13. poppytump says:

    *Sigh … beautiful harmony in here Seonaid ….
    Oh goodness … I’m all unravelled …. and so much to DO today ;-)

  14. Lucid Gypsy says:

    We all need a space to unravel those knots from time to time, this one looks perfect. Beautiful Seonaid!

    • Don’t we just Gilly, and sometimes I don’t even notice the knots until I’m still enough to let them start unravelling! I had been hunting out specific sights earlier in the day, so it was wonderful to just be and to be surprised by the liquid beauty of this place on the edge. I almost didn’t bother to drive the few miles down to the dead end…..but so glad I did…..something pulled me :-)

  15. Suzanne says:

    Wow – you have really captured the spirit of place here. I can just imagine how it must have felt to sit there alone as the day chilled and the sea murmured. Beautiful.

    • Thanks Suzanne, I try to linger and wander a while in a place before settling down to try and capture a little of what I feel on the camera. Later I re-conjure the feelings in my mind before reaching for the words to weave the post together. Delighted to hear it worked for you :-)
      It was a soft end to a surprisingly beautiful day

      • Suzanne says:

        Thanks so much for sharing your creative process Seonaid. I can certainly learn from your measured and thoughtful approach. I tend to take photos as I go and end up with loads that are utterly useless. For me the writing starts in my head as I’m walking and then driving home but it’s when I actually start stringing the sentences together on my computer that the deeper meanings of my experience emerge.
        I love you the way Scottish and Irish people describe weather as ‘soft’ :)

  16. Achingly beautiful. I love the contrasts, the roil of the sea, the calm of the shore.

    • Those contrasts are wonderful, and the waves here are deep and insistent, rolling and crashing onto the rocks, and swirling softly through the white sand :-) it was hard to leave, so I lingered for a while….

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