Life seems to return slower to the moorland than elsewhere. The machair is being ploughed up, and fresh green grass is changing the colour of the in-bye areas. On the moorland, however, the hills are still brown, last year's vegetation leaves an overwhelming impression of dryness, pause and uncertainty.
To look closer, however is to find the life returning. There, nestled in a patch of purple moor grass is an empty case of an emperor moth chrysalis. The finely woven exterior looking like the most delicate of works by a secret artist. And just over here is an orchid - heath spotted (I think) - about to burst into bloom. Its head is bent, heavy with anticipation, while the leaves are insignificant against the spectre of years' past.
The bog cotton is in bloom, bees are flying, primrose line the banks of the burn, whose waters run crystal clear. Although an initial glance might hint at life, paused, the eternal movement carries those willing forward and our new year starts again.
Sitting and watching the clouds drift by is a type of meditation worthy of any of us. Although here on the earth the wind seems insignificant, the gentle giants drift past with incredible speed. Becoming tangled on Beinn Mhor - the big hill - some remain, clinging to those that travel on with tendrils reaching through the sky.
The hen harrier hunts, silent, the first warning of her presence is the dark shadow passing across my feet. She's a master of the sky, a twitch of her feathers and her destination changes. A golden eagle hurries past, harried by a pair of ravens that make enough noise to wake the slumbering. With utter fury at her presence they dive and dive, yelling their anger in loud voices. She's clearly flustered and flies quickly to be rid of their distracting annoyance.
It's not all peace: there's lives being lived out here in panic, terror and stress. There's ambivalence, such as in the willows that unfurl their leaves when the sunlight triggers their release. There's moments of pure joy: the sun beam that comes down and pinpoints the geometric patterns on the gneiss.