Snow It is the cold that sparkles. It is the slow crump and sink. It is the shift and drift. It is frozen breath. It is icicles on branches. It is the pure sky. snow fall that silence growing deeper Derek Ross.
I enjoy history and photography. Some of the best places where these two interests come together are old Kirks (Churches) and Graveyards. I hasten to add that I am not a religious person, but I do find the history of such places to be fascinating. They were, after all, the centre of towns and communities back in the day and were very important. Of course, many still are. I am very lucky to live in Scotland where countless such sites exist with such rich histories.
I started this project pre-lockdown, hopefully I will be able to continue to loose myself in my favourite places soon. Meanwhile, I’ll start with one of the most picturesque wee local Kirks.
Built in 1868. to serve the nearby Maxwelltown House and Parish. It was commissioned by Isabella Laurie as a memorial to her husband John. The house has a connection to Annie Laurie, the subject of the famous song by Lady John Scott. It is now a Grade B listed building. Situated between Dunscore and Moniave in Dumfries and Galloway, the chapel sits in its own grounds. A very beautiful and evocative place.
Solway Sands The sea has gone, leaving only ribbed sand as a legacy. The departed tide has scoured this place. The very air is clean. The stage is set, a wind from the wings hints of change to come. There is salt in the air, beyond the horizon, a new sea gathers. Derek Ross
Heron The Nith is full and pours through the town. A heron stands, head-still above it all. It is waiting, for that one chance. Debris slides by, torn by the full tide. The heron lets it all go… and waits, some more. (The Nith - River that flows through Dumfries, Scotland) Derek Ross
Auld Brig, Dumfries. Was it just Monday that the sun shone? So much rain, since then, so much has flowed beneath the Auld Brig. But it’s still there, still strong enough to endure the torrent. Still carrying us from one side… …to the other. Derek Ross
Cup and Ring Marks, or Cup Marks, are a form of prehistoric art found in the Atlantic seaboard of Europe. There are particularly nice examples in my native South West Scotland. Their meaning remains a mystery and, hopefully, always will be.
open field stone pages laid open
strolling eyes in the stone follow
reaching out cold fingers trace a lost world
we whisper the stones remain silent
I’m very lucky to live near a wood, especially in these troubled times. A great place to centre yourself and indulge in some much needed mindfulness.
Walking The moon fell through the tree tops And time became a gentle thing. I walked on wrapped within myself Hearing only my heart and birdsong. Time became a gentle thing That fell with the autumn leaves. Hearing only my heart and birdsong, I walked alone, content. Falling with the autumn leaves, A light rain caressed my cheek. I walked alone, content, Not thinking of this troubled world. A light rain caressed my cheek I remained wrapped within myself. Not thinking of this troubled world, The moon fell, through the tree tops. Derek Ross