Is it possible to see beyond one’s self?
Beyond this austere island life? I have
Peered into reflecting pools, my face
Shimmering in sunlight. Who is that
Person staring back at me, movement
Mirroring, as if she amongst the reeds,
Possesses knowledge more than I,
Willow, realizing better life exists on
Scottish mainland, across westward
Oceans, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia.
Yet, outer islands are my home, Barra,
Uists, rugged cliffs, rambling hillsides,
Dark mysteries concealed, gale-blowing
Nights, small croft storm-exposed, sea-
Spray on sunlit cottage gardens, how
Cabbages dislike salt-sticky leaves. Then
Come days of fog, mists, perpetual rains.
In cottage I remain, quilt bundled, candle
Burning, warmth against rain-streaked
Window, water in my room drip-dripping.
Alas! Sunny breaks, island life begins anew,
Sails raised, fishing boats shore-leaving,
Sheep on grassy slopes grazing, reflecting
Pool I visit. “Do you love these islands?
I asked aloud, amongst reeds, my mirror
Silent-listens. Hair sunlight shimmering,
My reed-self replied, “Hundred ages, Willow,
Young women loved this island, no harm
Reflecting wonders of distant shores,
Living life on these ancient outer isles.”
For now, Willow remains on Uist Isles. For more about
Scottish Outer Hebrides, see this link.