summer, suddenly

I was waiting for spring, and was taken by surprise by summer. North East Scotland is currently basking in a heatwave of twenty degree weather; last weekend, the city beach was a riot of children and dogs braving the North sea while, on the promenade, new parents pushed prams and lovers held ice cream hands.

The city’s verges are a bobbing force of daffodils, their yellow bonnets waving enthusiastically to all who pass, and the trees are shy brides under their delicate veils of blossom. Today, I put a few dozen seeds into the ground, crossing fingers that they will transform into peas and spinach and courgettes to feed us well into the autumn.

This evening, on my run, I turned onto an unfamiliar footpath which took me on a deserted stretch along the River Dee. The water was liquid gold and the pebble beaches it has forged in its meanders reminded me of those we camped on in the Pacific Northwest. And I reflected that, while beauty is sometimes a little harder to find here than it was in the Alps, it is all the more precious for it.    

The sky was pastel behind the houses on Malcolm Road but when I went to the garden to stretch out the sun’s parting flames were like the fires of Mordor behind the hills to the west.

And the afterglow it has left is both beautiful and apocalyptic.

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