In the West Highland winter, the sun is very rarely seen, and the sky can remain heavy and grey for months on end. Such conditions are not for the faint-hearted, but Algy knew that from time to time the sun would manage to break through a gap in the clouds. As he leaned back against a sheltering rock on top of the moor, with the fleeting silvery rays illuminating the Sound in the distance, he thought of those of his friends experiencing dark times, and remembered a poem:

          I have seen the sun break through
          to illuminate a small field
          for a while, and gone my way
          and forgotten it. But that was the
          pearl of great price, the one field that had
          treasure in it. I realise now
          that I must give all that I have
          to possess it. Life is not hurrying

          on to a receding future, nor hankering after
          an imagined past. It is the turning
          aside like Moses to the miracle
          of the lit bush, to a brightness
          that seemed as transitory as your youth
          once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

This post is dedicated especially to Algy’s friends seagirl49 and seoulsearching97 and to all those experiencing times of darkness xoxo

[ Algy is quoting the poem The Bright Field by the 20th century Welsh poet and Anglican priest R. S. Thomas. ]