9 May 2009

A magical life in the Faerie Glen

First imagine that you are very small. You are the height of a pencil, slight and nimble, with a pair of transparent wings growing from your back. In the mornings your wings are covered with dew, and when you unfurl them the light hits the moisture, causing your wings to gleam as if they were studded with gems.

You live in the
Faerie Glen on the Isle of Skye. In Gaelic your home is called Balnaknock, which means the hamlet of the rounded hills. A string of landslides created these mounds, which were smoothed by time and ice. Now they are like magic cones capping a world of never-ending green.

The days are yours to sweep between the hills or nestle in the branches of the tree that overlooks the loch. Sometimes the wind curls around the grassy mounds like ribbon, threatening to sweep you away. But you know how duck between the rocks for shelter, and sometimes you fly low to the ground all the way up to the where the waterfall has created a pocket in the earth, and hide there.

You love the long days of summer most of all, when the sun pushes warmth into the soil and the plants seem to ache with life. You spend each sunset sitting atop the rocky tower known as Castle Ewen, surveying the land and calling to the sheep, who look around dumbly but never see you.

Your whole life will stretch out in this manner, a slow churning of the seasons and your own love for this enchanted place, a tumbling lush land that was massaged from the greater world, forever playing out a gentle drama beneath the dome-like sky.

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