These landscapes through which I walk are ancient and a thought occurs to me: nothing I can experience is unique to me. My footsteps are not my own, my eyes are not the only eyes to have looked across the land. My path has been taken by many through time immemorial. My thoughts have been thought by others that have passed this way.
And yet, easy as it is for us to consider ourselves separate from the rest of life, the sharing of my experiences may not be solely the place of the human. The eagle sits on her rocky outpost and surveys everything with her sunlit eye. The hen harrier rises sharply from the heather bank, where some small creature has been converted into energy. The peregrine uses the same outcrop as I have, on some other day.
These ways are not my own. This land is no man's. This place, this moment, this history shared with all. We are but one.
I murmur these words aloud as I walk, wishing I has a notebook to hand. The ravens take to the air in haste, shouting their alarm.
When I have spent time in the South Uist hills, I forget that I am separate from the land I see around me. I forget all the efforts humans have put in to quashing nature in the name of progress. I forget the danger that my species is to wild life. The ravens, however, do not forget and neither, perhaps, should I.
I sit and in the last of the daylight watch hooded crows come in to roost. Making full use of the slight breeze, they form a group above the cliff, and then in pairs, freewheel (freewing?) down the side of the cliff, riding the air on their wings, noisily encouraging participation as they fly back up and await their next turn.
And I lay my worries to rest, for life really does go on.