Day 26 & 27: Soaring eagles & new perspectives
As if I wanted to celebrate this last day of the first month within the new year, yesterday was nothing short of a glorious celebration! And it was not at all planned!
It started out pretty ordinary at 8:30 and it looked like just our usual morning walk. I decided to explore the opposite hill that I am able to see from the house. Just in case it would last longer than lunch I packed some treats more for Marjorie and my little, red insulated bottle with water- maybe this was the reason this day became what it became, resources at the ready.
So off we went, first down to the beach, than up the hill ( I would like to call it a mountain because it is pretty far up but I think it really just is a hill) and along the coastside.The weather was beautiful, blue sky, charming fluffy clouds in the far distance on the horizon and the wind was rather smooth. Without any expectations or need to find something or go anywhere, in the end I spotted a beach from the distance, it seemed pretty close though and I screamed in excitement as I have not yet been to the other white sand beach that I spotted on my second day here. It was such a surprise to just stumble across another beach which seemed so much closer than the one I wanted to go to initially!
All that was only possible because of an eagle- and yes, you read rightly. There are eagles here, it literally is the towns signature on their logo with a quote beneath saying "Aird Uig - where eagles soar". Sarah has spotted them days ago but I never really did and if I had seen something soaring across the land I was never quite sure if it really was an eagle. Well this time I was sure. We must have disturbed it hiking by, as it flew over Marjorie just a mere 1 meter before her and because she was in front of me, I saw it from nothing more than 3.5 meters away and it was huge, the body from head to claw was similar to Marjorie and combined with the stunning wings he or she had a frightening impact on me. I went into shock for seconds because of the majestic picture of a flying predator the size of a medium sized dog and therefore only was able to move and take a picture as it had flown away into the distance. Although on the photograph you would not identify it as an eagle I will keep this one for myself to remind me of this most amazing near heart attack of my life.
Because of that incident I wanted to sit down for a bit to realize what just happened and because of that I sat on a stone on the far edge of the land and this led to the visibility of the beach. Instantly I knew, I would go there and thanks to a fence alongside the cliffs I knew just which way I would go.
After two climbings over fences and a really steep climb (and I mean on all fours climb) down a cliff we managed to get there by 11:40 and it was just indescribable, beyond words. The vastness, the fresh air, the absolute absence of sound and people, the frozen sand, the patterns on the sand drawn by the wind and the sea, the horizon in the back and the stoney cliffs we just climbed down from with the patches of green everywhere and warming rays of the sun....
I repeat myself all the time, but this experience and the fact that it happened accidentally, it just all added up to the most amazing, mesmerizing walk yet.
Of course we had to get back so by 1:30 we were on some remote street with no real clue where we were except that the islands on the right side of us now where close and had to become distant in order to get where home was. First step when your landmarks had to be reliable and no real noise of people or traffic could guide you to an orientation point, navigate yourself as high as you can. Said and done, although I have to admit the first climb up was really challenging- Marjorie became tired so I had to motivate her as well as myself because I was getting tired myself- and many more hikes to many more tops followed this one, I learned fast that steadiness will get you anywhere. With one step after the other and focus on the path and not the destination it got easier and by the middle of the first climb I saw the antenna on a mountain top that I recognized. With that sign I knew the direction was right because this antenna was always in sight from my view over the land from the house. As soon as I saw it the next step was to get to the antenna and then see what a good way back would be.
The walk to the antenna was challenging as well but this time I knew I had all the time in the world because I could give us all the time we needed to walk and rest and walk some more. The sun would be up until at least half past four, darkness would not come before five and I had nothing to care for except a safe hike home. With this mindset the inspiration to capture the beauty around me came back and I made some amazing photographs to remember this day forever. And from the top of the antenna mountain a sigh of relief came through as this little, beautiful town was perfectly visible, as well as the sand beach I saw on the second day (which also seemed a stone's throw away from up here). Scanning the land for a good route that would not be to ardous for both Marjorie and I, we rested for a bit and then started the journey home, which took us more than an hour and in the end we were home and cooking by 5 in the afternoon, with Marjorie fast asleep and not even opening one eye during the familiar rustling of her dog food packaging while I was preparing her bowl.
Happy dog - happy life!
After nearly 8 hours outdoors yesterday it was clear that we should have a rest today. With a good 1.5 hours in the morning, more or less because the weather was to beautiful to get back sooner, Marjorie spent the mostpart of the rest of the morning, lunch and afternoon in the garden while I got some work done with a morning coffee, a short telephone break at lunch, some more work and a delicious lunch break, eating sweet potato toast while watching the eagles and seabirds fly with exceptional grace over the hills and sea. They are very playful with each other and kind of adrenaline junkies because sometimes they would just fly up high, pull their wings in, dive at an enormous rate towards the ground and just before crashing they'd spread their wings and use the currents to come effortlessly, with no more than three or four flaps, back up.
By three in the afternoon I thought I'd take Marjorie out for a little loop around the big hill with the plan to get down to the beach and collect some litter for the bin upon our return. While hiking up and Marjorie gone a little off track while chasing rabbits in the far distance, I not only feasted on the glorious view, I had an encounter with eight or so wild deer. They did not hear or smell me because the wind came from the west going east, then, as I was only 30 meters away, they looked up, all of them and because I just remained still and completely frozen, they kept on looking at me and I had about ten to fifteen minutes of just being close to them, watching them as they watched me, not sure if I was a threat or not. When I realized that Marjorie is crazy for deer and most probably soon would come after me, I changed course to surround the deer and with the advantage of spotting her sooner than she might spot the deer (she would not smell them fast enough, I thought, as the smell of them would not be within the right wind directions to her coming up), I could put her on the lead before her instinct of chasing would set in. It was strangely easy to spot her, running up the hill, and I started to whistle and encourage her to get her treat and just kept her focused on me, finally she arrived out of breath but happy to see me and enjoying her treats.
The deer vanished out of sight, Marjorie was on the lead and we made our way to the top, just sitting there with a marvellous view of 360° ranging from the ocean, to peninsulas, to islands, to white mountaintops, white sand beaches, rivers and streams to moors and stoney cliffs with the sun starting to set.
Could there be any more joy to life?
After this day I had the feeling of how different a daily routine could actually look like. For most of my life I could not picture anything else than a "normal" job working at a store or in an office, but with this experience becoming more real and real everyday, maybe this is what I was and am striving for. A daily routine consisting of being outside with Marjorie, working when it is convenient in an environment that presents me with inspiration and an occupation that serves a purpose other than earning money, making just enough to have healthy food for Marjorie and I, as well as a roof over our heads, possibly self-sufficient.
Maybe, I will see where this journey takes me but after these two days, and the abundance of opportunities I experienced so far, I am very much looking forward to see what life has in store for us both, my beloved lady and I.
Love aLove and light to all of you, beloved souls
Nadine experience this fah looking forward to see what life has in store for us both, my beloved lady and I to all