Crumbling Stone Bones

Bone white carpet

Bone white carpet

Change was whispering hints through the thin blue air of winter, and now the mountains were calling. The sound barely heard, was vibrating bone deep, an echo ringing through time. These stone peaks towering into the sky, unchanged over countless lifetimes, were yearning company. They rolled out a welcome carpet of bone white stone.

Stone Backbone

Stone Backbone

This eternal space, seemingly untouched by time and all her processes, had in fact secrets to share about change. Thrust up out of the heart of earth countless eons ago, the signs and symptoms of change were indeed laid bare on the slopes all around. A stone backbone told of her body of rock exposed when dinosaurs still roamed the planet, covered by a living green blanket of life over thousands of years, and now exposed again. The clock turns slowly on the mountain.

Stone Claws

Stone Claws

Ice and rain and wind had clawed away these stone fingers, still clinging to their home, unwilling to seek new pastures. Now they watched, sentinels of earth, witnessing the changes unfolding around them.

Stone Building Blocks

Stone Building Blocks

Building blocks had been thoughtfully quarried and shaped from the mountains body. They stood ready to be used, becoming a little smoother with every passing year.

Drystone Wall - Red Coullins, Skye

Dry-stone Wall

Some stones had already been shaped into useful walls, by hands which had been long under the earth. Balanced into a structure which couldn’t quite hold as time picked and tugged at their edges. Now they were tumbling back into the body of the mountain, re absorbed into the smooth slopes.

Ruined Window

Ruined Window

This stone window stood, offering a framed view of the distant Coullins, virtually unchanged since eyes now closed called this home. Shaped from the bones of rock crumbled and scattered beneath our feet.

Ruined Chimney

Ruined Chimney

The gable wall held memories of stories round the fire, as winter storms hurled ice and rain against this home. They were reluctant to let go of the past and the energy spent raising them up off the ground. They had grown accustomed to their neighbours and their place in the wall. Nature had sent roots and branches to work their way through the spaces and cracks, slowly dissolving the structure, crumbling the rocks back into the earth. There was plenty of time, no need to rush the change.

Exposed Rocks

Exposed Rocks

Slowly new rocks are released from the mountain’s peak, and they roll invisibly down the slope, towards the sea. Perhaps they move at night, unseen and unnoticed by all but the mountain herself.

Limestone Sculpture - Red Coullin

Limestone Sculpture – Curves

Thoughtfully she worked with the weather to create a sculpture, which to our fast eyes and hearts is fixed and stable, but to the mountain is dissolving in time.

Change flows all around us, often unseen and unnoticed, as the structures and energies of life combine, dissolve and recombine. Sometimes when we noticed things have changed over time we get a fright, because we weren’t looking and didn’t notice the process. We like things to be fixed and certain, but the truth lies all around in clear view. Nothing remains unchanged, and perhaps tuning in to the slow and steady changes would allow them to feel more comfortable and less frightening.

You can see lots more posts about change at the weekly photo challenge

About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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36 Responses to Crumbling Stone Bones

  1. Touch2Touch says:

    Chilling, but really well done. And the images are beautiful, especially the ruined window.

    • I’m so glad you were moved by the photos. I smiled a lot when I had the idea to shoot the view through the window as it would have been seen in the past. And at the same time I felt sad that the place had been abandoned back to nature…..but this is the truth throughout the Highlands, because of the clearances. People uprooted from their long known patches of earth and shipped off to the far corners of the earth, Canada, Australia, America…leaving the shells of their lives behind like echoes….

  2. Your pictures make me want to visit these places. Thanks for the enticement.

    • My pleasure. This particular place on Skye with these rock formations was a new discovery, despite my numerous trips to the area over the years….it was accidental as so many of the best ones are….I have walked very close to here before, and was trying to revisit an old quarry I visited about 8 years ago. We didn’t find the quarry, but I really didn’t mind. The rocks more than made up for it.

  3. Yes, stunning! Thank you!

  4. Absolutely stunning, words and images both.

  5. gordondon says:

    Absolutely amazing images. Really like how the rocks and stones lead your eye.

  6. Nicely, nicely done. Stone landscapes do indeed speak to the timelessness of it all. Realliy nice how the images speak in support of your ideas. The second one really does look like a backbone. Love the imagery of rocks as bones covered by the living earth. Have you ever heard of the Gaia hypothesis … I think you’ve revealed evidence of its truth in this post! Great work – as usual. D

    • Thank you. The story was laid out before me, and the imagery of the earths body with rock bones has been with me for years. I remember reading the Norse myths as a child, and in their creation myths the earth is formed from the fallen body of the celestial cow, or from the fallen body of a giant…take your pick. This always made me look at the landscape as though it might be a fallen body ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. davidriggle says:

    Lovely Seonaid. Thank you. xx

  8. Lynne Ayers says:

    Excellent, excellent post – beautiful photos combined with such beautiful and poetic prose.

  9. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Change | Lucid Gypsy

  10. 2e0mca says:

    Excellent images bound together with well chosen words ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Martin, I love taking photos and getting lost in my subject, and then when I come to put them together there’s usually a story, which I also love writing. This blogging business blends my two loves perfectly ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Change (Avebury – Sense making in Fashion?) | What's (in) the picture?

    • Thanks, it is a very beautiful place, especially when bathed in bright sunlight. I think I might get more dramatic shots if I was to go back on a day with clouds ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Love your photos and I find your words quite touching.

    • Thanks so much Charlie. I do find mountains touch me emotionally and shift my perspective to the bigger picture. Worries and troubles somehow always feel smaller in the remote space at the top of a mountain. Perhaps it shows through in my writing ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Amy says:

    Enjoy reading it. These rocks are amazing, beautiful shots.

    • It is an amazing place, with a magical atmosphere. High above the gentle glens, the light is harsh and bright, and the air is fresh and silent. We disturbed a family of mountain hares as we reached the rock formations. It was as though we had slipped between the worlds ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. restlessjo says:

    I like your message, Seonaid, and the photography is flawless.

    • Too kind Jo. It was an inspiring place to visit, and every angle begged to be photographed. Glad you liked the story and the message too ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes we fight change so hard, that we make it difficult and exhausting when it needn’t be.

  15. โ™กeM says:

    Stones have been a topic of recent conversation in one of my circles. Thank you so much for sharing this photographs.

    • My pleasure to share. These stone bones were begging to be photographed and noticed. It’s a stunning landscape which I’ve barely done justice ๐Ÿ™‚ Stones hold lots of good and interesting lessons, I learn something new with each encounter ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. ladyfi says:

    Oh, you’ve shown me the wonders of the body of Mother Nature. Fabulous shots!

  17. beautifully done ๐Ÿ™‚
    in the first photo, there looks like some horse-shoe prints in the rock?

    • Thank you, glad you approve ๐Ÿ™‚
      They do look like horse shoes, I think they are lichens growing on the rock. I did search carefully for cup and ring marks which you often find on stones like this, but couldn’t see any.
      But I like the idea of rock horses pounding over the mountains ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Amazing, the similarities between our own bones and Mother Earth’s bones. You did a beautiful, poetic write-up. Near where I live, we have a rock formation, appropriately called “Devils’ Backbone.” It looks exactly like huge stone vertebrae laid up on a hill. Young people like to challenge themselves and climb up there. But the wind can be very dangerous and has blown a few people right off the cliffs. Maybe that’s why it’s called “Devil’s backbone?”

    • That sounds like an amazing and powerful place to visit. It’s always amazed me to see the bones of the earth exposed on the mountains and in high places. As though we could just peel back the soil and plants like a blanket and peep beneath ๐Ÿ™‚

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