Threads Across the Moor

Following threads across the moor down to Bernera, I was escorted by a white-tailed Eagle for a few miles as she soared along the high ridge of granite tors above the road. At Bhòstaigh where Donald MacAulay described in his poem ‘Air Tràigh Bhòstaigh’ (On Bosta Beach) how ‘the people lie – in their history’ I slid down boggy slopes to the reconstructed Iron Age Round House and was startled by a head of Highland Cattle hunkered down against the wind in their stone shelter above the burial ground. The waves were terrifying, the wind relentless, spray sent fuming up above Little Bernera’s bulk on the horizon. I listened for the ‘Time and Tide’ bell but could hear only the wind. I left the beach and chased my thoughts across the moor to Carloway, met with a crofter – an Incomer – who has made this island home.

Poem quote taken from Donald MacAulay, ‘Air Tràigh Bhòstaigh’, Deilbh is Faileasan (Images and Reflections), (Stornoway, Acair Books, 2008).

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