Waking In The Gloaming—By Angela Thompson Smith

Waking In The Gloaming—By Angela Thompson Smith


Scotland’s Morning Rainbow


The gloaming: that time of day when there is just a hint of light, when the sun is almost set or the moon is nearly ready to rise, when the night has almost begun or a new day gets ready to start. The gloaming is that mysterious transition time between day and night when magical things can happen.

I awake in the gloaming and remember I am in Scotland. It is August but, like many summers in the U.K., it is rainy, overcast, and cool. I sleep between two soft quilts and I am reluctant to rise and start the day even though I am delighted to be in the Highlands!

I hear the patter of raindrops on the slanted dormer windows; the Scots call it a “soft rain” unlike the monsoonal downpours of the Nevada desert. I look up at the window over my bed and there are fat raindrops racing each other to reach the slate roof below. The morning light is sufficient to see the small room where I sleep: filled with books and antique furniture from a bygone age, it is timeless and reassuring.

Among the steel gray clouds, seen through the steamy windows, hints of blue are already showing, promising a change in the weather. In England there is a saying that if there is enough blue sky “to make a pair of Dutchman’s trousers” the weather will turn fair.

The room is part of the top floor of an old, converted byre or cowshed, and the top floor would have stored sweet hay and perhaps living quarters. The milking barn has long-since fallen down and now forms a sun-catching retreat for morning tea and long chats. The windows and deep sills, renovated and weather-proof, hint at hay-loading portals and archways that have been transformed from cart entrances and cattle entryways.

Outside the small room, can be heard the lowing of cattle, out early in the soft dawn, calves calling to nurse, and the lone bull keeping close by to the cows. A solitary partridge calls: sounding like a creaking, wooden door.

The ancient farm, next door, with its venerable history, was once a castle but the only remains are an old wall covered with lichens, ferns and moss. On the ruins was built a farm that still carries on the ancient traditions. Up behind the farm are mysterious, Neolithic, burial cairns, now buried in ferns, brambles, and fallen pine trees.

I rise and look out the raindrop dappled window to the Loch below, the gardens and meadows, and see that a double-arced rainbow has graced the waters, promising a fair day.


Editor’s Note:  Once again Angela has honored us with a taste of one of her travels.  This delightful story will make you want to curl up with a cup of tea and enjoy the beauty of the morning, no matter where you are.

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