Migrating birds

I’m happy to report that my little birds have been leaving the nest as fast as I can assemble bodies, wings, beads and brooch clips. Like my little birds I too am preparing to leave the nest, my lofty eyrie looking out to Ben Lomond and the surrounding hills. My migration however involves the impossible task of taming an unruly flock of immigration forms which like little birds never seem to stay in the same place for too long.

A snowy Ben Lomond taken from my flat

Although my migration is voluntary, unlike the many forcibly moved from their Western Isles lands, I will follow paths many took over the Atlantic to Asheville, North Carolina ~ a place in the Appalachians where fibre arts are very much alive. Along with good friends, family and a small dog I will miss my mountain, Ben Lomond on the East shore of Loch Lomond. A peak which magically summons rain clouds from the Atlantic. Even on days when it envelopes itself in mist and cloud, immersed in its own weather system I feel its pull, its steady heart beat, its roots are my roots.

Carman Hill (Neolithic burial chambers and Iron Age Fort) pic taken from flat

As a kid on surrounding hilltops I would peer squinting through the half light of dusk and imagine the darkening land dotted with ancient fires, surrounded by an ancient people’s sharing stories. Time was wrapped up in layers and I was always looking for my way in to pull aside that vast curtain and crawl in. I still hunt for those keys in the shape of crow, tree or moonlight.


Out on the ocean beneath the forming rain clouds flows the North Atlantic Drift. It has brought me curious treasures washed up on the Clyde shore: coconuts, magically shaped driftwood and odd curiosities.Deep magic, our tie with the land, isn’t lost or forgotten, it’s very much alive. From my eyrie I look out to a town which cuts of the night skies in its excess of light pollution. As individuals we’re sidetracked by advertising, wide screen TV’s, traffic countless sources of noise into the belly of the consumerist beast. Above the artificial light the mountain peaks are tinged with the last light of the day, from the setting sun, shining on the lands of Tir na Nog.

We can bring the deep magic of the land alive through us, what we make with our hands and all that we do. It is a magic that lives within us as we are an integral part of the land. There is no ‘saving the environment’ we are the land saving ourselves.


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