Rising Above

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Some days, when the world feels noisy and cramped, its good to climb up out of the city and into the fresh clear air of the hills above. Follow me up the steep slopes of Arthur’s Seat, rising from the foot of the Royal Mile and the Scottish Parliament, and we can look down from on high, to the crowded streets and jumbled spires of Edinburgh.

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As we walk deeper into the hills the green space begins to work its magic, softening our breath and filling us with a sense of peace. The warmth of the sun releases the scent of coconut from the golden yellow gorse, freshening the bright air. And the sounds of the city streets fall away into the distance below, replaced with the sweet soothing notes of birdsong.

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Above us the recumbent lion keeps watch over his domain, luring the crowds up his steep mane, but we will follow a less crowded track through the heather and rocks, until the castle perched on her rock peeps into view.

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Climbing higher and higher it’s as though we have risen into the clouds themselves, as they drift in ever shifting shapes across the sky. Dramatic bursts of sunlight and shadow sweep across the landscape, pulling us into the ever-changing moment. The wind tugs insistently at our hair as it blows over the slopes and into the clouds above, forgetting the world far below.

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High above the world, we plant our feet firmly on the ancient lava flow which once moved as a white-hot river down these slopes. Now gently eroding at a snail’s pace in the wind and frost.

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Gazing down from above we can see the pattern of the city streets, tumbling away from castle rock, the enduring heart of Edinburgh, and we can let the space of the hills seep between our thoughts and worries as we rise above it all for a little while.

You can visit more posts on the theme of above at the Weekly Photo Challenge.

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About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home with my husband, my son 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! 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 run the Maggies Highlands Cancer Centre, in Inverness, Scotland.
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42 Responses to Rising Above

  1. Love all these images. They remind me how much I am missing by not getting out much. I used to live in Pollock Halls at Univ of Edinburgh, back in the day. My room overlooked Arthur’s Seat. Happy memories of many windy walks there with a certain Mr A, before he was officially ‘my’ Mr A. Thanks for the beautiful tour.

    • Thanks Kellie, how lovely to hear that my post provoked such great memories. I can picture the pair of you, hand in hand on a romantic walk, with the wind in your hair! Pollock Hall have to be the loveliest setting of any Halls of Residence anywhere…and you got to use the Queens Park as your back garden ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Mary Mageau says:

    Thank you for this uplifting walk from Edinburgh through the surrounding open country to the highlands. Your photos made the entire experience so very special.

    • What a lovely comment Mary, its lovely to hear that you enjoyed the walk and the photos. Uplifting is a great word, its exactly how I feel after a walk up Arthurs Seat.

  3. dorysworld says:

    So beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. marob23 says:

    Seonaid – as always some inspiring pictures, and I wondered if you used a filter on some of them as they have a kind of old postcard super brightness to them ( I don’t mean that in a bad way ๐Ÿ™‚ ) the look reminds me of the style of printing from a while back. Lovely post and sentiment – quite uplifting in all senses, I like to save up my favourite blog posts and read them properly when I have time to savour.

    • I don’t use a filter, but I have increased the saturation a bit, and changed the light spectrum to just a little warmer. It was a super bright day, and the colours just pop out. I love the way the sky changes colour depending on which direction you are shooting, and the rolling shadows of the clouds kept changing the lighting ๐Ÿ™‚
      How wonderful to know you savour my posts, that’s such a delightful comment, and encourages me to keep posting. Thanks you ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. joshi daniel says:

    beautiful and colorful ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Angie says:

    Stunning landscapes, Seonaid! I love the yellow flowers, which kind are they? ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. P J Robinson says:

    Brilliant gorse bush.

  8. Amy says:

    Great hiking adventure! Stunning views, esp. the castle shot.

  9. ladyfi says:

    What a beautiful hike! And how lovely to know that you can walk straight out of the city and be in those hills in a short time. What a great location.

    • Thanks Fi. We are so lucky in Edinburgh to have wild hills in the middle of the city. It’s one of my favourite things, that we can just head off upwards, and within 10 mins you feel as though you are a hundred miles away from civilisation ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I agree with all the comments above… I geographically moved away from home -in Spain- and saw myself walking on those beautiful hills of ancient lava…with a fresh wind in my hair.

    • Those sound like wonderful memories, you can’t beat a fresh wind in your hair. I’m so glad to hear that this post evoked the hill walks from your past.

      • Instead of โ€˜geographicallyโ€™ I meant โ€˜mentallyโ€™. Donโ€™t know what happened when I wrote that message :), well, I use to mix up languagesโ€ฆ (hmmmm, Iโ€™ll better draw). What I really wanted to say is that the ‘visualisation’ was so strong that I have actually been on those hills! ๐Ÿ˜‰ You make people travel. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Liana says:

    happy sighing…I am so there with you…thank you thank you for letting me walk with you ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I totally agree with the above writer…why don’t you? If you cannot find the time now, maybe later…I would come by for your company. Great shots too.

  13. Lovely narrative! I enjoyed going on your walk with you.

  14. Pat says:

    Very beautifully written, Seonaid. And of course your photographs are wonderful illustrations.

    • Thanks for the lovely compliment Pat, somehow I need to post words and pictures…it’s like one cant exist without the other in my head ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Pat says:

        I am the same way. Usually it is the photo that calls for words but sometimes I have the words and then remember a photo that matches or realize there is a photo that needs to be taken.

  15. Ese' s Voice says:

    Beautiful shots – it was a true pleasure to be taken along for a walk with you ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. cynthiamc1 says:

    Loved hiking with you!

  17. ileneonwords says:

    Getting ready to walk outside through my park. What beautiful sights you see on your walk! I did a brief posting this morning on walking, too! Visit some time!

    • The views are amazing from Arthur’s Seat, and the photos never really do it justice. I can sit for hours looking down on the landscape rolling away into the distance. Your post on walking is lovely, and agree wholeheartedly with you about the benefits of walking.

  18. Seonaid – have you considered a second career as a story-teller, nature guide? Seriously, beautifully narrated and illustrated with your photos. I’d follow you along to the top of the Lion’s Mane!

    • Annette you’re very kind with your praise. I do love telling stories, and I narrate relaxation visualizations sometimes, usually leading us through nature…it’s lovely to be encouraged by comments like this ๐Ÿ™‚

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