Friend of the Earth

Two days ago our hard, bright weather was overtaken by high winds and periodic rain. Since then serried ranks of white-capped waves have chased each other across the surface of Loch Ewe, the sheep have been huddled together en floc in the lee of tossing pines and the noise level is like the rise and fall of rush hour traffic outside the Mayfair Hotel. You're glad of the skills and the diligence of those who long ago put stone on massive stone to make the walls of the cottage in which now you live.
This is nothing like the assault on Wester-Ross in January 2003, when a warship out in the Minch recorded a gust of wind at 132 mph, but it is enough to keep a light sleeper sleeping in fits and starts: Dee, that is; she says I myself would sleep through World War Three, which is why I seem to need so relatively little of it.
But there is truly a wonder about being so exposed to the elements. Something you do not feel, and may be glad enough to miss, if you live in a town house crowded together with others like the sheep I mentioned. But wonderful nevertheless. It becomes easier to understand the elemental forces which have over the millenia created an earthly environment so supportive of life, including human life. And to appreciate that these elements change everything without our help and that all things and all forms of life come and go with these changes, whether we like it or not.
So I try my best to never mind the weather, uncomfortable or not. When you are not sheltered by the cottage, when you're out on the beaches and the hills of this most uplifting Wester-Ross, that is when you truly live. That is when you really are a Friend of The Earth.

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