Just once in a while, at the end of some dreich, grey winter’s day in the wild West Highlands of Scotland, the sun emerges briefly from the cloud, low on the horizon, and bathes the world in golden light for a few short moments, before it sinks down deep into the cold, dark sea.

On such an afternoon, Algy flew out to the rocks and perched in the sunlight for as long as it lasted, watching the golden light playing on the sea and the seabirds silhouetted against the glowing sky on the rocks further out in the bay. It reminded him of a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:

The subtle beauty of this day
Hangs o’er me like a fairy spell,
And care and grief have flown away,
And every breeze sings, “all is well.”
I ask, “Holds earth or sin, or woe?”
My heart replies, “I do not know.”

Nay! all we know, or feel, my heart,
Today is joy undimmed, complete;
In tears or pain we have no part;
The act of breathing is so sweet,
We care no higher joy to name.
What reck we now of wealth or fame?

The past – what matters it to me?
The pain it gave has passed away.
The future – that I cannot see!
I care for nothing save today –
This is a respite from all care,
And trouble flies -I know not where.

Go on, oh noisy, restless life!
Pass by, oh, feet that seek for heights!
I have no part in aught of strife;
I do not want your vain delights.
The day wraps round me like a spell
And every breeze sings, “All is well.”

Algy hopes that from time to time you will all experience some moments of golden light, and the respite from all care that it brings 🙂

[Algy is quoting the poem A Golden Day by the 19th century American poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox.]

Saturday morning dawned bright and mainly clear, and once the sun had managed to climb above the mountains it felt almost warm, although there was a biting chill in the wind. Algy tucked himself down comfortably among the dry stems of bracken, to soak up a wee bit more sunshine while he had the chance. From time to time, black cloud shadows drifted across the hill, but they didn’t threaten Algy’s side of the bay. Everything looked so pretty in the golden November light that he felt as though he was inside a picture postcard…

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy a picture postcard weekend 🙂

Algy moved closer to the water’s edge. There seemed to be an exceptionally high tide, and although the day was calm, the loch was in a state of constant agitation. In the stormy light, this world on the far side of the rainbow seemed to be coloured entirely in muted shades of silver and gold, and Algy felt rather conspicuous in his bright plumage. The scene was certainly pretty, but as he watched a mass of coppery-golden seaweed bobbing about on the silvery-pewter water, Algy wondered how he was going to find his way home…

(Special note to those Tumblr friends whose blogs Algy normally follows: Algy is very sorry, but while he remains on the other side of the rainbow, he may not be able to keep up with your posts… He sends you lots of fluffy rainbow-coloured hugs xoxo)

Algy decided that he needed a better vantage point from which to admire the view, so he was delighted to find a fallen silver birch – a casualty of last winter’s storms. It provided an excellent perch, and the autumn sunshine warmed the feathers on his back, but from the colours of the sky he knew that the beautiful golden light could not last very long.

The low evening sun streaming through the clouds created a pocket of golden light on the hillside by Algy’s home, so he moved across from his rock, to a perch on the edge of the old quarry. The barren ridge behind him was still in deep shade, with the black clouds brushing its edges with swirling mists. Algy knew that the sun would soon be gone again, so he soaked up as much of it as he could.