Day 0 – The Journey North II: Inverness to Durness

The beach at Durness

The bus runs thrice a week; there were nine people onboard; I was the only one going all the way to Durness: it is a remote and the most far-flung village of our island.

A fine friend sent me the following poem as a blessing for my journey home (thank you, Julia)…

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets into you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green
and azure blue,
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O’Donohue

A ‘currach’ is “a small round boat made of wickerwork, covered with a watertight material, propelled with a paddle; a coracle.” (Google). The observant among you will have noted that by Rule 3a, I am not permitted even a currach to cross Loch Eil to Fort William, and hence am condemned to go the long way round, via the bleak, publess, shopless Druim Fada.

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