The reckless fires of hell

If I've been a bit quiet of late. I've been packing my cards, calendars, prints etc then driving around the Highlands selling them into the shops. Painful pleasure. Pain because it's hard work done to necessary seasonal deadlines. Pleasure because I enjoy meeting and, as they say up here, blathering with my customer friends this once or twice yearly. A lot of the talk has been about the heath fires that have been ravaging the hills these last few weeks.

I see the flames and the clouds of smoke from miles and miles away. I smell the destruction. I sense the panic of the newly nesting birds and the myriads of insects for whom the heather tangle is home - or was.

I stopped yesterday to talk to one of many fire and police workers. He'd had to spend many of his official hours (our paid for hours) and many more of his own hours trying to ensure some control of  the out of control. If the fires get into the peat apparently they can burn away for ages and pop up later anywhere. I will not repeat here the words he used except his comment; "I don't know why these crofters want to burn the hills every year and neither do they, exccept it's about their sheep money. Maybe there's a bit of the fire-raiser child in all of them - or us?"

Me, I see the practice of heather burning exactly as I see the guy who wants to deface the Mona Lisa. Because it's there. Because it's beautiful and he is not. Because he thinks of himself as the son of God, ordained to manage all around.

Sad that Man should ever think he is ordained to manage the mighty rest of Nature when he has yet to learn letter A of the alphabet of how to manage himself! Witness his wars and their self-imposed suffering, witness his assault on the whole of planet Earth and its life forms, and even here, even now, his reckless, feckless despoilation by fire and fence of the beautiful Highlands of  Scotland.

Shame on you.

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