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A Mirror Image

There are times the beauty of Scotland takes your breath away. Unexpectedly, an image that you see each day comes into perfect focus. The sun beats down, sky deep blue blazes from above, and everything is calling out to you. New beginnings, spring is growing.

None of these colours in the photograph have been heightened. Partly as I have no idea how to do that but mainly as nature cannot be improved on. These colours are exactly as they were.

Some think you have to go west to capture the beauty of Scotland but you don’t. You just have to be at the right time and place when the sky and the water reflect each other.

It is hard to believe on the days when everything appears to be seen in shades of grey that so much colour hides beneath it all. Perhaps that is why our moods reflect our surroundings.

I had a Malaysian friend on her first visit to Scotland many years ago say “It is so funny when the sun comes out you all change. Everyone looks up and smiles and says hello. That doesn’t happen in Malaysia.”

We decided Malaysians probably take the sun coming out for granted and so it doesn’t have the same impact on their moods. Whatever the reason her comment stayed with me.

In winter as the north wind blows we keep our heads down to avoid the ripping wind and freezing snow. As the temperature raises and layers of clothing come off so our heads lift and once again we can look each other in the eye. Our country’s nature does impact who we are.

Nature, the countryside, and the weather were my original inspiration for writing. It meanders through both my Gaelic and English stories. Gàidhlig Grumpa spends a lot of time outside. The weather also plays a factor in his books unintentionally in most cases.

Blàs of the Highlands followed the characters for a year. The seasons and the weather all played a role in the pages. Mountains, wildlife, the sky, and the sea combined with the weather to create a character in its own right.

Blàs Roots in the Soil reflects the months of autumn to a large extent. With apples and crisp mornings throughout. Trees and their folklore add that natural element that you cannot ignore when living here.

This third Blàs story is more in tune with springtime. Broom, blossom, and the sea’s bounty all flavour the story. I was reminded recently that I need to get on with the editing when a reader commented “I was waiting until my holiday before I started your book but I couldn’t stop myself, I hope you have a third Blàs coming out soon.”

I hope I can capture this time of mirror images. Up here the sky is often large and dark. Puddles reproduce that feeling of grey all around us. Then slowing rainbows spread overhead and flash their many colours. Wet droplets draped in the shades of blue, pink, and green echo the colours.

And then this, a clear, sharp spring day. Colour everywhere, birds singing and water shining. Does it all appear so much sharper and stunning because of the grey before?

I hope colour floods your springtime.

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