Friday 13 January 2012: The brief sun
Midwinter spring is its own season
Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,
Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.
When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,
The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,
In windless cold that is the heart's heat,
Reflecting in a watery mirror
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.
And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,
Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire
In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing
The soul's sap quivers. There is no earth smell
Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time
But not in time's covenant.
The opening lines of the last of Eliot's "Four Quartets" - Little Gidding - which is poem that means a great deal to me.
The picture was taken this afternoon just below Dunadd which is a place that also means a lot and perhaps most particularly this week as many regard it as the cradle of Scotland.