Ghost Light

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The light poured out of the lamps, spilling into the fog of night
Mingling with the swirling ghosts of the Abbey
Illuminating the path of the Grey Lady.
Centuries after burning in her fathers anger
The lamplight guided her on misty nights
Back to the long cold bed of her lover.
The golden light glistened like tears
Pouring eternally from the heart
Of the monk who led her astray.

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Newbattle Abbey, Midlothian. November 2013

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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.
This entry was posted in ancient sites, Edinburgh, history, photos, spiritual, verse and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Ghost Light

  1. Beautiful ghostly lights, Seonaid. I can almost imagine the Grey Lady furtively hurrying through the shadows. πŸ™‚

  2. colonialist says:

    I’m sure I have heard of the Grey Lady – but didn’t know the site or legend. That makes it vivid.

    • That’s great to hear, that my post brought it alive in your mind. I think that there might be more Grey Lady Ghosts, but I grew up with this one, and lots of local tales about late night encounters with her. She seems to haunt this stretch of the Esk, and not just the Abbey grounds πŸ™‚

  3. poppytump says:

    Together with the ghostly light capture you’ve woven a wonderful interpretation of the ancient sad lost love story Seonaid

  4. LB says:

    I just had to do a little reading about the Grey Lady and Newbattle Abbey. Sad story … but your photos are beautiful. That light is wonderfully captured.

    • So happy to hear you liked the photos… And great that you know a little more about my neighbourhood πŸ™‚
      It’s such an old site, with so many stories……I might post more on the ghostly theme πŸ™‚

  5. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I’ve just googled and read the story Seonaid, thanks I would never have known about this place without you!

    • My pleasure Gilly, if I had thought people would be interested I would have put some google links into the post….I’ll remember for the future.
      It’s a really amazing, but relatively unknown site….so much history, and so many ghosts πŸ™‚

  6. I’m wondering if this is fiction or whether you’ve put into poetic form the legend of this mysterious place? D

    • David, it’s a local ghost story which I’ve grown up with….put into my poetic phrase πŸ™‚
      Newbattle Abbey is a very ancient monastic site, and the Grey Lady is one of the ghosts reputed to haunt the building and it’s grounds. It’s 5 minutes from our house, and a regular dog walk for us….but I don’t like walking there on my own as the light fades. It has a powerful atmosphere.

  7. Suzanne says:

    There is something really sad about that photo. Maybe as the first commenter said its because of Mandela’s passing or maybe it’s because of the suggestion of deep sorrow in your poem – either way your image has a strange power.

    • I loved the link to Mandela, and the poem is such a sad ghost story. She was apparently beautiful and kind natured, but her father, Lord of a house nearby in Gilmerton, couldn’t bear her love for the grey friar. He burned them alive in a cottage where they were meeting secretly, along with her maid, and a fellow friar from the Abbey. Hard to imagine a father burning his daughter……

  8. ladyfi says:

    What lovely light!

  9. twoscamps says:

    Beautiful. Both the photos and poem……

  10. I really like your use of light and shadows in your photo, very creative.

    • Thanks so much Charlie, we were just finishing up a dog walk we do regularly, but the light had dropped earlier than we thought it would, so we did the last stretch in gathering darkness and rising fog. It was so evocative to see the lights reaching out towards us like this. I had to stop for some shots….while my husband and the dogs waited patiently in the car!!

  11. Paula says:

    I have some catching up to do here Seonaid. I have been very busy. This is just a quick stop to tell you that these photos in my reader really made me stop and look πŸ™‚ Gorgeous takes!

  12. As I look at this light with its long light cast, my heart is heavy hearing about Nelson Mandela’s passing. He has been one of the largest lights I can think of in my lifetime…

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