|East Lomond beckons through a light, morning mist.|
Two of our favourite volcanic hills, and right nearby, are East and West Lomond, also known as the Paps of Fife. It's been a while since they've felt the heat of molten magma. These hills have survived 300 million years of erosive forces. A mere 18,000 years ago, a kilometre of ice moved up and over and around them. They stood their ground, the dense and fire-formed rock refused to be intimidated by the massive weight and dynamic forces of the ice. They gently remained, "as they were".
In relative terms, it was just "yesterday" that nearby Falkland Palace was transformed, by King James lV and James V, from an old castle into a royal palace. Mary Queen of Scots ran her cherished dogs and flew her hawks on these hills, once part of the hunting grounds belonging to the former royal residence.
At 448 metres (1,471 feet), there is a wonderful view over the Kingdom of Fife, south to the Firth of Forth, and north and west over the Angus and Perthshire Hills.
|Initial steps along the forested trail.|
A dramatic thunderstorm, a wild wind, a driving rain, or blowing snow can be exciting and exhilarating and invigorating...but the calm that often follows (or precedes) these meteorological events is often filled with both promise and surprise as nature takes a breath...for even She must need to rest and find quiet moments for respite and restoration.
I rather like gentleness.
|Life...it's always one step at a time.|
As I write this, I am listening to quiet, peaceful, and contemplative piano music. The heart rate and breathing has slowed, the body may even be releasing endorphins, those neurotransmitters that calm and produce a sense of well-being. The music is so subtle that it almost vanishes from the consciousness...but it is there, behind everything. It is easy to lose oneself, thoughts liberated and surrendering themselves freely to the keyboard.
|Gateway to the summit.|
Colours affect us psychologically, emotionally, and physically. They give us a way to express ourselves, and a means to interpret the world. It's the gentle colours, the ones that are calming, restful, and tranquil that sooth the eyes and bring healing and strength to the soul. They are the colours of broad expanses of nature, especially the greens.
|The twin peak...West Lomond, from East Lomond.|
I like gentle thoughts, expressed with sensitivity, kindness, and compassion by gentle voices...the shared hopes and dreams and aspirations, accompanied by courageous strategies, that would enrich the lives of all people everywhere.
|NT48S014...the pillar trig point on East Lomond.|
It is in their lives that I am reminded...
|Wild Scottish rhododendrons, the national flower of Nepal, looking back at East Lomond.|
Nothing is so strong as gentleness,
nothing so gentle as real strength.
-St. Francis de Sales
|Falkland Palace, residence of the Stuart Monarchy.|
It is, perhaps, how we human beings demonstrate our greatest strength.
And when it comes to hill walking, the combination of exertion and gentleness could be the best of both worlds. :)