How can it be already the 31st May? A month – as a friend has written –
… full of sunrise scents
I love the scented, sunshiny days that make home and neighbourhood look and feel like this. This year’s wildflowers are beginning to raise their heads among the garden shrubs and apple trees. The lawn gleams a lush, thick green, enhanced in the early mornings by dewdrops beneath grateful, grounded bare feet. I’ve loved having my brother to stay for a few happy days this past weekend. We’ve talked, and laughed, and tootled around Lakeland, enjoying quiet hours, too, at close of day. And now we move onwards to the joys of June. Perhaps I’ll write more? More photos, perhaps? Certainly some cycling, friends, family, and Edinburgh. And so – gratitude …
It’s a beautiful Coronation Day morning here in Lakeland. The contrast between my not meeting a single person on my dewy sunrise walk and my thinking of the tens of thousands lining the streets of London this morning could not have been greater. On this historic day I wish for King Charles and Queen Camilla all the strength and sustenance they will need, and for all the nations on earth – peace and goodwill.
Good fish and chips in Edinburgh? Hop on the bus down to the fish market at Newhaven for some of the freshest fish in town. Camera in tow as usual, I was rewarded with some quiet Sunday scenes too, and was glad to wave a greeting to the now retired Royal Yacht Britannia. Skyscapes here, even in the course of just an hour or two on a dull day, are simply gorgeous.
Newhaven, located in the city of Edinburgh, has a long history dating back to the 16th century when it was established as a fishing village. Situated on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, Newhaven is known for its picturesque harbour and vibrant maritime history. Over the years it grew into a bustling harbour and fishing port with its residents relying on fishing as their main livelihood. In the 19th century Newhaven became an important centre for herring fishing and processing, and it was a major contributor to Edinburgh’s economy
When you close your eyes and daydream about what makes you happy and glad to be alive, what do you see? Are you aware of a kaleidoscope of images? Are you aware of your responses to all that you see, hear, smell, touch and feel? Are there elements of life – activities, art, nature, people, places, things that have the effect of making you feel particularly happy?
Spring scenes in Edinburgh are among the sources of joy in my life just now, as so often before. I saw a bright poster the other day that featured a blossoming tree and the words ‘something’s stirring …’ and I’ve resolved to keep an eye out for the number of times I recognise ‘something stirring’ in my own life, and in all the life around me, in the coming days.
Then suddenly the Mole felt a great awe fall upon him, an awe that turned his muscles to water, bowed his head, and rooted his feet to the ground. It was no panic terror – indeed he felt wonderfully at peace and happy – but it was an awe that smote and held him and, without seeing, he knew it could only mean that some august presence was very, very near.
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Spring coupled with coastal beauty stirs heart, mind, body and soul. Here on Scotland’s East Coast – no matter how long and grey the preceding winter – Spring reacquaints a person with what it means to stand in awe and wonder.
Such excitement visiting Amsterdam for the glorious Vermeer exhibition at the Rijksmuseum – gorgeously narrated by English actor Stephen Fry – link hereunder. To say that I was awestruck to be ‘in the presence of’ Johannes Vermeer, 1632-1675, (link to biographical article at Totally History) and – later in the day – a yard away from my favourite Rembrandt (self portrait) would be something of an understatement. But I hope to show here in Amsterdam i and Amsterdam ii that the city herself – warm people, canals, carillons, curiously leaning buildings, tens of thousands of stylish bicycles, and fabulous food – is an astonishing work of art …
Even on a relatively dull day in Edinburgh – when the sun makes only short appearances on stage – there’s colour and a glorious juxtaposition of allsorts, very old and very young, to enhance an afternoon meandering, camera in hand …
Window cleaners have brightened up the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood in the last couple of days. A huge hydraulic platform, and their having to work around some stunning but complex architectural decoration, made their labours fascinating to watch. And the ‘eyes’ of the building now sparkling make the place even more of a looker than usual.
And it seemed that the wind stilled and that stars above our heads prepared themselves for the night lighter’s quiet encouragement to twinkle. A single lamp behind a window animated a framed oil painting in much the same way that toys leap and dance around a nursery in the moments before nanny tidies them into the stillness of the night hours. And the painting, and the toys, and the sunset watchers alike breathe softly, profoundly aware of the gift of a great, deep, silence – a silence that is itself an abiding friendship; for all of our many busynesses, words and music are steadied and reassured when they find their treasured place between sunrise and sunset, sunset and sunrise, stillness and silence – glad companions …
Have you noticed forgetting even the most piercing, wind-driven cold when faced by astonishing beauty? Friends have been sending me glorious photos of sunrise and sunsets in Edinburgh. Two drove South for a happy day in Lakeland today, and as we watched the sun go down, albeit that we had to watch our footing on ice, I don’t think any of us felt the cold!