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pennyh's memory of 1st July 1983

AIGAS 1983

Tucked between a pine forest and a rocky plateau
Where the Caipercaillie runs free in Highland gorse
There lies a glassy tarn
Filled to the brim with cool, clear water
Its origin – a mountain spring
Chanting her primal birth song
Scattering forth an intrigue of bubbles as her individual life force
Dances from a maternal cavern
Hidden deep within the sheltering womb
Of a Scottish peak
And there I swam alone
Feeling my way through warm currents and icy undertows
As they bit at my limbs and sent my teeth chattering;
Gliding, rolling, swiftly diving into the peaty depths
I believed, for a moment, that I could be Eve
When all at once I heard a call from the loch’s edge
Its sound sonar deep like the ‘ping’ of a submarine
And surfacing sufficiently to view the voice
My eyes caught sight of a solitary fisherman
Standing in the shallows, watching me
He called out “Are you mermaid or maiden?”
I dived back into the freezing water
Silently weaving my way to a distant islet
My chosen protection from prying eyes
But the fisherman called out once more
“You shall perish out there! Come
Share a hot toddy with Ben and I!”
The dog barked while his master waited
On the muddy shore
And the dove called
“Safe, safe, you shall be safe with them!”
A warm towel enveloped my shivering, wet, slippery self
A steaming mug of pan-brewed tea
Was placed within my hand
And then, he asked me
“Do you fish?”
Soothed by the hot liquid and a change of clothes
We stood together, the fisherman and I
Rods held firmly while the feathered flies
Bobbed on the mirrored surface of the loch
For an hour, for an aeon
Yet there were no bites and I was glad
I did not wish to unhook the barb from any tender mouth
Life was too sweet to be involved in death that day
Only the fleet-winged Kingfisher kept his watch
As he snapped at dragonflies
Cuckolding him as they danced to the thermal changes
Of the gentle waters in the growing Scottish dusk
Then we returned to Aigas Castle
And waved goodbye
While the Highland Cattle
Loomed large in the gathering mist
By Penny Hemans 1983
(published in 'Pushing Out the Boat', Issue 7)

Say hello to John Lister-Kaye please!!! I have his signed book which he gave to us when staying in his beautiful Castle.. Thankyou to all the AutumnWatch team for bringin back so many memories. XXX Penny Hemans

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