Evenings come early in October, the skies begin to dim after lunch and keep getting darker until the nightfall’s, which is around six o’clock.
It is what living so far north, on the edge of the loch entails. It is a continuous way of life, a life stretching back a thousand lifetimes and more.
It is the way of life I have chosen. I love it. The peace, the serenity, tranquillity.
Right now, I sit typing this on a manual typewriter. Two sheets of white paper separated by a single sheet of dark blue carbon paper. You may consider this outdated, outmoded, perhaps it is, but at the same time it is physically connective.
The harder I hit the keys the louder the click, or clack, and the firmer the paper is inked. The actual doing, the keystrokes, the little bell ringing as the carriage come towards the end of its travel, the satisfying ratchet noise as I depress the lever and return, ready for the next line.
I do all this while I look through the window over the waters of the loch, watching the last few seabirds heading for their nests before the darkness closes in.
My wife is at the clothesline, unpegging the washing which has been drying in the breeze blowing through the narrow passage into the loch, imparting a natural freshness no chemical scent can ever replicate.
A cast iron pan, full of rich beef and homegrown vegetables, hangs over a log fire which also warms the cottage.
Some may say we are isolated out here, that we are too far away from civilisation.
“What,” they ask, “what if something happens?”
I laugh and say, “something happens every day, it is why I choose to live here.”
It is their fears, their uncertainties they voice, not mine.
It is also their reluctance to leave things they believe they cannot live without, like electricity, computers and running water. The fact is, no one really needs those to live a happy life, a full life. On the contrary, they are, by their very nature, the things which entrap us and imprison our souls.
I would rather be chopping wood for the fire, as I did this morning, or fetching water from the well or pulling new carrots from the soil than be sat in a fumed filled city, my head rattling from the constant hubbub of noise, eating pre-packed, microwaved slop, which has been mass produced in some factory situated amongst the industrial grime of urbanimity.
Give me a direct, personal, tangible connection, a bond, a personal relationship with the creation of this story, as with the way I live.
Give me unsoiled air of wilderness, the perfume of the sea mist and these early evenings in October. Give me peace, serenity and tranquillity.
And when they ask, “what if something happens?”
I shall laugh aloud once more and say, “something happens every day, it is why I choose to live here.”
© Paul White 2017