It was the warmest day of the year so far, but the sky was overcast and – owing to the unusual absence of wind – the midges were biting. The world was entirely grey and green, and Algy felt tired and indolent. He reclined sleepily on a tumbled tree trunk overlooking the lochan, brushing the midges off from time to time, and looked at the water and the sky. Like all the other flowers, the water lilies were late this year, and so far there were only a few buds showing among the floating leaves. As he gazed up at the leaden sky a large bird circled overhead, and Algy was reminded of a poem he had recently discovered:

Day and night, the lake dreams of sky.
A privacy as old as the mountains
And her up there, stuck among peaks. The whole eye

Fastened on hawk, gatherings of cloud or stars,
So little trespass. An airplane once
Crossed her brow; she searched but could not find

A face. Having lived with such strict beauty
She comes to know how the sun is nothing
But itself and the path it throws; the moon

A riddled stone. If only a hand
Would tremble along her cheek, would disturb. Even the elk
Pass by, drawn to the spill of creeks below—

How she cannot help abundance, even as it leaves
Her, as it sings all the way down the mountain.

[Algy is quoting the poem The Lake by the contemporary American poet Sophie Cabot Black.]

Algy dedicates this post to all his friends overseas who so badly need water. He wishes so much that he could send you some of the abundance he sees here, but alas, he cannot. Every day that it rains here (and that’s most days this year), Algy is thinking of you xoxo


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