The harr rolls slowly off the sea. The join between water and land confused by the damp, salty blanket. In the distance white tailed eagles swoop down from the ridges of Ben Vorlich – their grace eternal; their majesty unchallenged. Terrified rabbits sprint for cover; the Laird’s sheep chase each other in their never ending game of follow the leader. The heather sways in the fields. I stand and watch as breathless as the first time I’d set eyes on this scene.
At the end of the track it lies – the whitewashed house. As the sun fights bravely for the right to brighten my day, the memories flow – memories of mild Scottish summers spent by the sea. Nothing ever changed. The rusty gate. The windows which shook when the waves crashed into the headland. The salt bite on the tongue when taking a breath. Mother’s washing fluttering in the breeze – forever damp, but somehow satisfyingly clean and fresh. Its sins blown away.
Every day I used to wait for the fisherman from round the point. He’d go puttering past and wave. I’d wave back. I always hoped one day he’d stop and take me with him. He never did, but I’d still be there each day. Hoping. Down by the rocks I’d find everything. The upturned hull of a yellow rowing boat, ropes, nets, odd boots – even found a bible once. I’d tell my mother about it all; she’d smile and I’d rush back out refreshed by her love. This happened every summer. This was summer.
Standing here today I remember it all. A tear forms. I somehow manage a smile.
My mother passed in the spring. She hadn’t been back to the house in years. She always wanted to, but I was always too busy. Now we are back. Up above she soars with the eagles. Watching over me. Protecting.
Ahead the ‘For Sale’ sign lies ripped from the sandy soil.
We are home again mother.
Home by the sea.
These 333 words, based on the word ‘grace‘ , form my entry into the Trifecta 93 writing challenge. I’ve written a lot of stories based in the US – today I stayed at home. I am a proud Scot and this week’s entry is unapologetically sentimental and Scottish.