The long arc of beach at Eoropie is probably my favourite place in the world.
I’ve been here a thousand times, at all times of year, in all weather and seasons and it always feels a very vital place. Once upon a time Viking longboats were hauled ashore here and it takes very little to stretch the imagination far enough to picture the sight today.
Legend has it the Vikings liked the islands so much they tried to drag them home to Norway from here, the loops of their rope fastened through what we call The Eye, a natural arch in the rock to the far north of the beach, seen easily from the sands, a peephole of light through dark Gneiss to the Atlantic beyond.
I feel a profound connection to this place.
My great, great Grandfather drowned in these fierce waters aiming for this very shore in the Cunndal drownings along with other relations and men of the community. In more recent times I have buried hopes and dreams with an old flame in the machair land nearby, a wee time capsule lost and buried after a special holiday a long decade ago. The family croft is but a stones throw from here.
Tonight, as Mac and I took an evening walk, the place was as beautiful as I’ve ever seen it. So hard to put into words really. The sea was a tumult of incoming tide, breakers nine or ten deep, cresting prematurely far out to sea, rolling and roaring in wave after wave on to the sands. The beach faces directly west and the sun was beginning to set and as it did so it fought through clouds of such epic size and scale, cumulonimbus’ of fat, deep, greys all pregnant with rain, beginning to glow pink with sunbeams.
And the sun beamed through, great swathes of rays, ramroddings of light piercing their sky, stitching air to sea. It was just glorious.
I’m not a religious man but sometimes it’s hard not to feel in the presence of God. Or at least a higher power, a bigger picture, the great tapestry of LIFE.
As we walked towards the beach across rabbit hewn green grass the whole scene just revealed itself. A fresh wind blew every cobweb and the salt sea air cured the soul with every breath. The beach was empty save for a lone photographer, wrapped to the nines, a fancy camera on a tripod and a second DLSR stuck to his eye.
As we passed, we both grinned, nothing needed to be said, just an exchange of looks to say “fucking wow!!”
I threw stone after stone for the dog and just soaked it all in. The sun had cut through a huge rain cloud in the bizarrest manner, for all intents and purposes there was a mile high and wide Acid Smiley Face leering over us, as if a tripped out God was grinning at his own handiwork, eyes all ablaze at his creative madness.
As we turned for home the horizon filled with two shadowy clouds, shifting shape and moving erratically, far too quickly to be wind borne. As the disparate patterns in the air drew closer we saw geese, Grelyags most likely, fighting their own currents as the sea below them ripped. A duplicate pair of V-shaped formations converged right over our heads in a cacophonous crash of birds that emerged from the collision in an even bigger arrangement of black silhouettes, squawking loudly heading for who knows where.
The camera guy had spun 180 to capture the fly past and I just craned my neck and laughed in guilt free joy.
The dog, oblivious, padded towards home, a stone still clutched in his broken toothed maw, sandy, salty and as happy as I, despite missing the point completely.