Lime-green rosettes of butterwort nestle in damp mossy grass,
At intervals throughout the day, the reconnaissance flights of a pair of noisy grey lag geese,
passing low over tree tops
In summer the visitor numbers swell
The ferry spews off extra traffic and people.
Walkers, birdwatchers, backpackers, artists, tourists, cyclists,
returning visitors, armed with binoculars, cameras and sketchbooks.
They come to have a look, to discover, to rediscover
to find peace in the landscape, as we do, to breathe the Atlantic air
Late summer and early autumn
the palette changes
sunlight shifts to soft gold
the craggy hills are covered in heather
the colours of Scotland, tweeds and knitwear
soft purple and bracken
What would this tiny island be like in winter,
at the mercy of the weather,
icy blasts sweeping down from the Arctic
and across the North Atlantic.
Short days, long hours of darkness,
a small community
Easy to romanticise the roaring fires,
wee nips of whisky
to keep the spirits up
But I would give it a go, just to be here
Almost mid September and still the swallows swoop and swish
They do not want to leave either.
As the ferry pulls away from the pier
the foaming trail left by the vessel
stretches out behind us.
That's my trail.
As Scalasaig becomes a distant, small collection of buildings
I feel myself being dragged away,
pulled and prized away.
The world offers endless holiday destinations
but that craggy outline, diminishing into the distance, keeps calling me back.
I know now where the wild apple mint grows
where the bees fill their honeycomb
where bluebells bloom either side of a grassy track
and where I might, just might, see otters play.
Colonsay is enough for me, and more