The falcon flew up from the verge, its flight path sharply upward – the road ahead like a runway to the sky.
Time suspended, as though we existed in a perpetual Sunday – with the weather living up to the day’s name.. we set first foot onto firm ground, heading for a small hill – seeking the ruined church marked on the map.
Human, cattle, sheep and goat tracks merged and mingled to confuse; though nothing disturbed our heady excitement.
A quarry on the first hill indicated work, if not current occupation ..then a roof appeared in the shallow valley ahead – was it the church?
It seemed the tiny church had been consumed by a later cottage – which turned out to have surprisingly sophisticated wall panelling and what must have been a state of the art cast iron kitchen range. All now long left open to the sky, visible through the fallen roof.
Behind this small but complex building, facing sheer north, lies a garden edged with a sharp line of wizened trees..like barbed-wire on a battle-field.
I sensed that people had been happy here; especially in the tiny river valley just below the house – where a small sturdy mill had been built with over-sized granite slabs and lintels.
Beautifully dressed stone indicating the local quarry employed gifted craftsmen.
The burn leaped and laughed aloud as it tumbled and twisted; forming stony beds and deep pools in its merry diversion around the mill.
The church turned out to be elsewhere; quarter of a mile away, hidden in trees higher still between the mill and the quarry. The track up to it showed signs of particular care in the use of stone.. to keep both shod – and bare feet – out of the bog.
There is much more to be found and illustrated here.. but for now, climbing the track to the gate on the horizon – at a time of great transition in my life – I was happy to be right where I was.
On my own Flight Path.