October throws so many surprises on wet sand. Light, dim, golden as honey, when not chaotic among clouds, allows for moments of pleasure around the many faces of Arcania. That light will shine for those who dare feel its magnet and tread the land without fear or disillusion.
Give me freedom and I shall lace up my own boots, and walk the shore with heart & pride!
Only a few days ago, I shared my world with two souls from the austral world – Dawn & Larry, fae Australia. For their first time on the island, I wished for them to share my very sense of place. Last Thursday night, I came to find them at dinner. Last Saturday & Sunday, I shared with them the magic of my wilderness among peatlands, harbours, old stones, looms and kelp. Larry, aka Cullodenmist, gambled a trip in October to marvel at the Northern Lights. His love of boats broadened his smiles as he found his lens in between wood and rivets! Dawn’s a spinner & a textile artist. With Wool Week in full swing, she would stand a good chance to share her craft with northern kindred spirits! Whereas Saturday began with an exploration of Scalloway & the Westside to Sandness, Larry got his fingers clicking without shame. En route to the most westerly point of the island, we pit-stopped at the Bonhoga for Dawn’s pleasure. A special exhibition – entitled the swap box – could only please her heart. And so it did 🙂 .
On my first day of freedom regained, I joined them with my natural joie de vivre and led them to the magic of the island. To my relief, the sky was with us. Blustery in places, even though blue dominated every skyline. From the ancient capital to Sandness… Larry fell in love with this wilderness that unveiled itself before him. He repeated how he could live in such a place. I smiled and clicked. Dawn marvelled at each resting sheep by the roadside… In between peatlands and deep blue, Saturday felt an adventure they would not forget for a while. However, their excitement for aurora borealis overrode sleep. And by Sunday, they decided to make the most out of Lerwick part of the day. So we meandered through Fladdabister for morning light over old crofts , Wester Quarff & Clickimin Broch before investing the boat shed at The Shetland Museum & Archives! Although Larry later confessed he was not a fan of museums, he yielded to the magic of Hay’s Dock without a doubt or question mark. Whereas I was distracted by Bastet exhibited in the foyer, he disappeared inside Robbie Tait’s magic workshop! Dawn stepped inside the Education Room for a quick look at the Wool Week event she then discovered was for kids and joined us back within minutes… I let them wander at their will and invested Robbie’s shed. Clinker of all shapes & sizes never deceive eye and lens. Playtime for those who love planks & rivets, the smell of wood, tar and wood dust. My heart rekindled Humblyband.
…A freak shower made us retreat at Mareel for a hot chocolate before we headed to the nearby North Road, as Dawn was to buy wool at Jamieson & Smith’s and then head to the Textile Working Museum housed at the Böd of Gremista, where we would have lunch. Ideally situated by the Lerwick Marina, I knew both man & wife would find their respective sense of happiness. Larry had boats, Dawn, wool and looms!
As tiredness amplified, we retreated to the comfort of our own bases. I vowed to greet them at the airport on the following day before their flight home to the other half of the world. Larry swore he would be in bed by 1800… Both were already in travel mood. They may have failed to gaze at the Northern Lights, they nonetheless enjoyed the opening of my northern world. Larry and I could not believe we sat and spoke photography side by side, instead via our Redbubble Community website. Somehow, I still feel it like a fresh dream. They must have reached Singapore as I type. We are both grateful to Redbubble for such meeting in the flesh! 🙂
Earlier today (Wednesday 17 October)
My dear sandbridge never fails to attract my eyes and prints deep inside sand. Last night, a friend told me to walk it once again, as she noticed I did not tread it for a while… She added with a smile the sky would turn in my favour. So I geared up this morning, and made my way to Arcania. Its very thought feels a hansel (present). And found the whole of it to myself! The stretch of sand belongs to the Atlantic and its avian dwellers – ringed plover, knot, turnstone, raven, hooded crow, fulmar, as well as winter visitors like long-tailed ducks. It was magic. Sea rockets may have vanished with summer, treasures to be found every time!
And by the time I walked back to the car, much sombre skies announced freak rain. How I love the island in October. It feels a magnet in its myriad of clouds and light.
I am still thinking of Larry and Dawn, on the other side of the equator. Within a few days, they crossed seasons, oceans and found themselves on the most northerly latitude. 60N. Larry wanted it all on his first trip – Mousa, puffins and Northern Lights! He will need to return to see the summer side of this boreal world.
Arcania really feels a magnet! In the meantime, I shall stay put for Aurora borealis and starry nights.