Ice Heart

Mountain heart of ice

Casts her cold dead spell tightly

Unwoven by Spring
A cairn field high above Loch Garry, marking the passage of the thousands who visit the Scottish Highlands each year, travelling through the Cairngorms on this high pass. Cairn etiquette demands that you should always add to a cairn as you pass by, and if you add the highest stone you can claim the luck of the cairn. This ensures its survival, despite winters best attempts to sweep the earth clean each year. Some stone cairns in Britains hills are very ancient indeed, marking the paths and passes used by our ancestors for thousands of years. Routes for moving cattle and the dead. Places where the veil between life and death feels thin, and where human feet have touched the skin of the earth, many many times over. Walk softly in these places.

You can see some more cold places at Cees weekly 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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46 Responses to Ice Heart

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  4. Great view. I needed another cup of coffee to warm up after looking at it.

    • That’s funny Don… certainly wasn’t a spot to take off layers! I have invested in a great pair of gloves with special finger tips which work on touch screens… need to remove even a glove😊

  5. Stunning view. 🙂 —- Suzanne Joshi

  6. Mary Smith says:

    Lovely post. I found you through Sue Vincent’s reblog and am very glad I did.

  7. Pingback: Ice Heart | oshriradhekrishnabole

  8. I, too, enjoy walking the old drovers’ roads. They lead you so far from the hustle and pace of modern life and yes, there is truly history in the wind. Very interesting – I did not know the custom of adding to the cairns, though how I missed out on it I don’t know. Thank you.

  9. LB says:

    Stunning image, Seonaid … the warmth of the sun on the cold snow and ice.

  10. Oh I love that … Walk softly I these places

  11. Beautiful and impressive, engorged with memories…

  12. I can hear the cold winds blowing across the land and feel the crisp freshness of the air 🙂

  13. Cee Neuner says:

    Such a beautiful entry for this week’s cold theme. Thanks for playing.

  14. Love the history of the cairns, but yes that is such a cold place in winter.

  15. Cairns always seem like silent witnesses to me…

  16. Lucid Gypsy says:

    How many times have you added a stone?

  17. gwynnrogers says:

    Mankind is only beginning to perceive who walked before him. I find the cairn etiquette fascinating, and does it still truly exist? I could see my kids, when they were young, trying to knock over the towers of rocks… heck, even my granddaughters today probably would be more interested in knocking them over than adding to them. Although, in thinking about it, each generation does add to these towers in their own way. BEAUTIFUL!! I LOVE your traditions.

    • Yes the cairn tradition still holds true up in the high wild places….they mark the safe passes through the mountains, and give good navigation points even nowadays 😊 It would be considered an act of vandalism to knock them over!!

  18. Traces of the busy hands of our ancestors. Cold and shivery indeed.

  19. Trini Lind says:

    This is beautiful! ✨✨✨✨✨

  20. Your photo conveys the feel of this place well. What a beautiful location. The distant hills frame every so nicely. A magical place steeped in and influenced by many. Thanks for bringing us along. D

    • Thanks David, it’s rather stark and definitely cold at this time of year, but later soft grass and wild flowers will burst through….and then in late summer the hills turn purple with heather 🙂
      I love to walk on these old drove roads, there is such a feel of history beneath my feet!

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