Solstice Rainbow over Loch nan Carraigean Ring Cairn
The late December weather has been tough with hardly any let-up from the squally storms, rain turning to sleet and back again and no break before the next bout. Come the midwinter solstice and I was determined to get out before total cabin fever set in. After a torrential morning it started to clear around midday and I set off to the local Clava-type ring cairn.
As I approached the cairn the squalls cleared, the sun shone out and a rainbow appeared right over the cairn. I took that as a good sign!
For 10 minutes the sun glowed on the cairn, from just under the edge of the bank of oncoming storm clouds to the south. The Scots Pine growing in the centre is a stunning tree, and a great place to sit for a while. It really feels like it connects heaven and earth, the cosmos above represented by the surrounding circle of stones.
A place like this, any place in nature where you can make open your senses and feel the connection to the wider reality, is so important for us in our overly busy human lives.
“Wild animals, like wild places, are invaluable to us precisely because they are not us. They are uncompromisingly different. The paths they follow, the impulses that guide them, are of other orders. The seal’s holding gaze, before it flukes to push another tunnel through the sea, the hare’s run, the hawk’s high gyres : such things are wild. Seeing them, you are made briefly aware of a world at work around and beside our own, a world operating in patterns and purposes that you do not share. These are creatures, you realise that live by voices inaudible to you.”
– Robert Macfarlane,