The Secret Song

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Algy flew into the edge of a forest beside the great sea loch, and found a cosy spot where he could recline on a soft bed of grass and dry bracken. Lying back among the autumn foliage he stared up at the tall trees towering above him, listening to the sounds of the birds and tiny insects who were going about their daily lives in this peaceful environment. It was much calmer inside the forest than on the shores of the loch, and he could hear many wee rustling noises and murmurings of the forest folk. Algy reflected on the amazing complexity of life that went almost entirely unnoticed most of the time… It reminded him of a children’s poem which he had discovered recently:

Who saw the petals
drop from the rose?
I, said the spider,
but nobody knows.

Who saw the sunset
flash on a bird?
I, said the fish,
but nobody heard.

Who saw the fog
come over the sea?
I, said the sea pigeon,
only me.

Who saw the first
green light of the sun?
I, said the night owl,
the only one.

Who saw the moss
creep over the stone?
I, said the grey fox,
all alone.

Algy hopes that you all have a calm and peaceful Sunday xo

[Algy is quoting the poem The Secret Song by the early 20th century American writer of children’s books, Margaret Wise Brown.]

We’ll Weather the Weather…

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Algy found himself a perch in a tree by the lochside and gazed out across the moody water. The weather was growing wild and stormy again, and very soon there would be more rain. He could scarcely remember a day when it hadn’t rained, although he knew that once upon a time the sun used to shine, at least from time to time, and there had occasionally been whole weeks when one dry day followed another. He wondered whether this year was just an anomaly, or whether it would now rain for evermore in the wild west Highlands of Scotland. He was reminded of an old rhyme, which he started to sing at the top of his voice, in defiance of the weather, and for the benefit of any passer by who might happen to be listening:

Whether the weather be fine
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.

Alone… Not Alone!

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Algy perched on a cushion of orange-brown seaweed on the cold, grey rock, as the storm clouds gathered overhead and the waves crashed all around him – a fluffy bird alone, facing the wrath of the elements…

For a moment he was reminded of a famous poem by Edgar Allan Poe, but then he reflected that in fact he was never alone, as he had so many amazing friends, all around the world.

So Algy sends you all his very fluffiest hugs, from the stormy shores of the wild west Highlands of Scotland, and reminds you that if you should ever feel isolated, as Poe did, remember that you are not really alone, as you will always have a very special friend, waiting to send you a fluffy hug 🙂

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—
Then—in my childhood—in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still—
From the torrent, or the fountain—
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—
From the thunder, and the storm—
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view—

[Algy is quoting the poem Alone by the 19th century American writer Edgar Allan Poe.]

The Fingers of the Storm

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Algy flew over to a low rock, to escape the incoming tide, and gazed up at the sky. The storm clouds seemed to be reaching down towards him with many dark, wispy fingers, as though they wanted to snatch him up and carry him away. Clutching the rock tightly, he wondered whether it might be safer to retreat inland until the storm had passed…

Algy hopes that if you are threatened by storms this weekend, you will be able to find a safe place to shelter until the skies clear again 🙂

The Great Sea Loch

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The weather was wild and unpredictable, and Algy had flown inland to escape the worst of the coming storm. As he approached the great sea loch he was caught by a sudden gust of wind and swept across the water to the further side. Landing on a slippery pebble beach strewn with seaweed, he perched uncomfortably on the damp stones and gazed at the moody water and the threatening sky. The great loch was behaving as though it were the ocean, with waves crashing on its shores, and he wondered how much more violent the breakers might be on his own beach, which faced the open sea…

Wild the Clouded Gleam

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Algy perched on a large rock beside the quiet loch and watched the dark clouds scudding fast across the sky. It was clear that he would soon be drenched again, but for the moment a rare burst of sunshine was providing some much needed light and a wee bit of comforting warmth. The autumn was advancing rapidly, and the damp leaves and grasses were glowing with their last bright colours before the fall. Not that leaves often had a chance to fall naturally in the wild west Highlands of Scotland; more likely, they would be all be gone with the wind, when the next Atlantic storm blew in…

Somewhere on the hillside behind him, a robin was quietly warbling its autumn song, and as Algy listened to its sweet notes he was reminded of another song, by Canon Dixon:

The feathers of the willow
Are half of them grown yellow
Above the swelling stream;
And ragged are the bushes,
And rusty now the rushes,
And wild the clouded gleam.

The thistle now is older,
His stalks begin to moulder,
His head is white as snow;
The branches all are barer,
The linnet’s song is rarer,
The robin pipeth low.

[Algy is quoting The Feathers of the Willow by the 19th century English cleric and poet, Canon Richard Watson Dixon.]

Diamonds are Algy’s Best Friend

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Algy is a collector of diamonds. Not those brash, unyielding, expensive rocks, once said to be “a girl’s best friend”, which human beings seem to value so highly, and for which some even risk their lives or their fortunes, but those far more precious and ephemeral gems which dance across the water of Scottish seas and lochs when the sun infuses them with life. Of course, Algy cannot collect them literally, as they elude even the most skilful and persistent captor, but he stores them in his mind, so that their brilliance can illuminate even the darkest days which may lie ahead. A creature with a head full of treasures such as these is rich indeed 🙂

Monochrome and Colour

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Some days it rained all day without a break, and some days the rain paused for a while, to rest and recuperate. On those days there were occasional bursts of light while the clouds regrouped, and it was often possible to see the dividing line between the monochrome world and the full colour version. Algy was intrigued by these changes, and watched in fascination as the clouds and rain wiped the colour out of the landscape, and then short spells of sunshine restored it.

Algy hopes you will all have a happy and relaxing weekend, whether it is in monochrome or in colour 🙂

[ This photo has not been altered to create the divide 🙂 ]

Honour to those…

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Algy perched on a large boulder in a patch of pale autumn sunlight and stared at the waters of the loch.

He was reflecting on the strange nature of human beings; a few of them caused a huge amount of trouble and distress for others who they did not even know, and yet the vast majority were kind to one another, especially when those in trouble or danger were in need of help. The situation was entirely baffling to a fluffy bird, but by a strange coincidence it seemed to match today’s poem in the anthology “A Poem for Every Day of the Year” – a poem which was written over 150 years ago:

Whene’er a noble deed is wrought,
Whene’er is spoken a noble thought,
Our hearts, in glad surprise,
To higher levels rise.

The tidal wave of deeper souls
Into our inmost being rolls,
And lifts us unawares
Out of all meaner cares.

Honor to those whose words or deeds
Thus help us in our daily needs,
And by their overflow
Raise us from what is low!

[Algy is quoting the opening verses of the poem Santa Filomena by the 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.]

The Silver Loch

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The West Highland weather was taking a walk on the wild side, but at times it paused to rest and reflect. When Algy was sure that the wind had dropped down to a tolerable level for a wee while, he flew over to the sheltered silver loch and perched on a rock. It was calm and peaceful there, and the lap lap lap of the tiny waves soothed him like a gentle lullaby. Although Algy loved the untamed ocean and the pounding of the breakers close to his home, it was undeniably pleasant to be able to relax for a while in a softer, more serene environment…