On the next day, Algy awoke to find the world full of colour again. The wind had gone round to the north, and everything looked fresh and bright and clean. Algy leaned back against the grassy rocks by the shores of the loch, and soaked up the welcome warmth of the autumn sunshine. He was reminded of some lines from a poem by Lawrence Raab:

          Although it is October, today falls into the shape
          of summer, that sense of languid promise  
          in which we are offered another
          and then another spell of flawless weather.  
          It is the weather of Sundays,
          the weather of memory, and I can see  
          myself sitting on a porch looking  
          out at water, the discreet shores  
          of a lake. Three or four white pines
          were enough of a mystery, how they shook  
          and whispered, how at night I felt them  
          leaning against my window, like the beginning
          of a story in which children must walk  
          deeper and deeper into a dark forest,  
          and are afraid, yet calm, unaware
          of the arrangements made for them to survive.

[Algy is quoting part of the poem On the Island by Lawrence Raab.]


Although it was evident from the masses of orange seaweed along the shore that this was indeed a sea loch, it was very calm compared with the more exposed lochs that Algy was used to. Everything was hushed and still, muffled by the tall trees and deep mosses. Algy closed his eyes and listened to the tiny sounds of the forest and the water. Before very long, the quiet, rhythmic breathing of a sleeping bird was added to the other gentle noises by the loch …

Algy was exploring an area which he hadn’t visited before. The trees grew taller and straighter here, and beneath them he found lovely thick carpets of soft green moss to rest on. The clouds were still hanging low over the hills, and everything was dripping wet, but the wind was beginning to change; it was veering round to the north, and Algy knew that colder, brighter autumn weather was on its way. He leaned back against a mossy tree trunk and thought of a haiku by the Japanese master Kobayashi Issa:

           water splashed
           on the stone, on the tree…
           autumn wind

mizu uchishi ishi nara ki nara aki no kaze

[Algy is quoting a translation from the Japanese by David G. Lanoue, from his extensive online collection of the Haiku of Kobayashi Issa.]