Where the lark sings

Out in the field where the lark it flies,
Over the earth where my heart it lies,
Oh how it sings when the west wind blows,
Out in the field where no-one goes.

-Kate Rusby, ‘The Lark’

 

After spending the entire day cooped up in a room without windows in Edinburgh, I wasn’t about to waste what was left of the beautiful, long summer evening. Ros and I went for a four-mile walk over the faraway-hill I pointed out in my last Favourite Things photo. It had been ages since I had heard the lark sing. They sing only in wide open fields, where they can fly into the wind and let their flutey song fill the air.

On the train back from Edinburgh, I was again struck by the rolling green fields, the beauty of the blue sky and the blue sea and the green hills in between. I live in such a beautiful place. It is a privilege to live here. I want to drink it in, fill my lungs and my soul with lark song and lush green and the sea.

   

Look for the clump of trees in the centre of the above middle photograph, on the ridge of the hill — that is where we crossed the hill; the town is on the other side.

And, on the way back, the same view as the photo at the top of this post, only a couple of hours later:

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Sea, earth, sky

The past week summer has come to Scotland. Today, Kelly and I walked a portion of the Fife Coastal Path. Five hours, starting at exploring the St Monans Kirk, then hot chocolate at the Cocoa Tree and a peek in St Fillan’s Cave in Pittenweem, lunch at the Wee Chippy in Anstruther, and three miles of stunning coastline from Anstruther to Crail.

The tide was out, so I clambered across rocks to get a closer look at these birds. I’m still not sure what they are… Meanwhile, Kelly supervised:

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Musings

My coworker and I both exclaimed in surprise when a bird dropped from the sky. It landed head first right in front of the museum doors. We watched it, at first thinking it was dead, but then it moved. Our doors are automated and open outward, and the bird wasn’t making to go anywhere. As a result, we were worried that the doors would knock it and hurt if further. So I went out a side door, scooped up the bird by sliding a couple of ‘Wet Paint’ signs under it, and carefully transferred it to the bushes. It merely looked up at me, dazed.

I was wondering just now, since I was planning on checking on the bird when I go out for my lunch break — what other animal would do this? Any other large predator would have either killed and eaten the bird or ignored it. Could we say that compassion, not just for fellow members of our species but for other creatures as well, is one of the qualities that separates humankind from simply being another kind of animal?

And if compassion is a quality that defines one as human, how then do we cultivate that quality in our lives?

Favourite things

Birdsong:

I miss the calls of cardinals, bluejays, and mockingbirds, but I love hearing the songs of blackbirds, chaffinches, and thrushes. The other night I was serenaded by a mistle thrush on my way home, it was singing away into the evening from atop a very tall tree near my house. I could not capture the beauty of that moment — the fluty song filling the cool air, the wisps of cloud blowing past — but I can share the silhouette of the tree and the bird and the bright star of Venus shining in the blue of the twilit sky.

Favourite Things

Leaves of gold:

Birch trees are one of my favourite trees. I love how in the height of summer their leaves are strings of emeralds and in autumn are made of pure gold. And, of course, the birch is a fairy tree…