Rock Carvings

If you follow the curves of the River Esk a few miles upstream from my home, you’ll find these water carved rocks. Huge blocks of iron rich stone, thoughtfully cut by the passage of water and time. The easiest softest route travelled over and over again as though the rain developed a habit.

Here in this soft dell the sunlight warms the stones which have been shaped and placed by mans hands. Taken from their earthen beds, split with wood and steel, and then laid into rows to rest once more.

These are the outer walls of Roslin Castle, perched high above the red river, built into the exposed rock bed. Ice and rain and wind have polished and picked at the man made structure, softening its sharp edges, rubbing it gently back into the earth. Yet most of the stones stay, content with the place they have been given.

Far below the river pours through its gorge, cut so deeply into the rock, that it splits the land clean in two. Molecule by molecule the water drops have scrubbed away the hard stone as though it was soft butter. Each splash follows the one before, along a route which has been carved by habit. The river rocks are smooth and polished by the repetition.

This crystal has been cut so that light dances in rainbows from its faces. Liberated from its dark home beneath the earth it now hangs from a holly branch, enticing us forwards along the path with its glittering light.


And here it is, the rock carved with wishes and dreams. Each mark begs for life’s pattern to be changed, cut into a new shape.
This is something we all have the power to do, if only we realise. The habits we follow, the routes we take with our thoughts and actions, can become deep habits, seemingly impossible to change. However if we focus our intent and cut a new route we can change anything we choose. First we have to notice what we are doing. We have to slip out of autopilot and begin to notice these habitual choices we make. Mindfulness can help us to become aware, so that we have a choice, rather than blindly following old habits. Drop by drop we can carve the rocks in our lives into smoother softer shapes, until it feels the way we wish.

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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26 Responses to Rock Carvings

  1. if you ever come to sweden i’ll show you my favourite rocky place…carved both by nature and humans, just like yours. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Colline says:

    These are such beautiful pictures. My favourite would be the second last one.

  3. Penny L Howe says:

    Your photographs are beautiful, they bring nature up close and personal, you truly have a gift. Thank you for sharing it with others! Penny ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. What a beautiful, magical place. It must be amazing to have it so close to home!

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  6. Lovely words, lovely photos.

  7. wisejourney says:

    Aaaah. Lovely. Gentle…..Thank you

  8. I loved your photos. I agree with you about paths we take and the paths we wish to take; I agree that they can be the same if we make them the same.

    • Very kind Charlie, the woods looked so pretty with the wild flowers bursting everywhere. I think it might have been hard not to get nice shots!
      Awareness is everything when it comes to making choices about our paths in life. Easy to say, but not always easy to practise. It’s lovely to hear you think along the same lines.

  9. ladyfi says:

    What gorgeous countryside! There’s nothing as healing and peaceful as being out in nature.

  10. How old are these carvings? And have modern jocksters added their own to the old ones? I remember the ancient carvings at Canyon de Chelly and just how mysterious and moving it was to be there thinking about those who have gone before us….
    I also agree with your finishing lines – we can really shape our future by envisioning it and writing it down. The writing itself is a step towards manifestation.

    • This rock has some really old carvings, there is a mysterious and magical Celtic head which I will post up very soon, on its lower face. It has amazing eyes even after all these years.
      All along this river gorge are caves with Celtic spirals, cup and ring markings and even some Neolithic cave paintings…..and this rock may have been carved back then, and has continued to be carved right up into the present. It really has layers upon layers of human dreams, and there is an amazing energy as you stand on the rock with the river pouring through the rocks far below.

  11. bdh63 says:

    Very beautiful place and pictures! Thanks for sharing. My husband and I loved Scotland when we visited, 16 years ago now. Wow.

  12. colonialist says:

    True – how often we dig ourselves into an uncomfortable gorge that becomes deeper by the day.
    Truly magical pictures, by the way.

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