A week in Scotland at the end of August gave me the chance to revisit some old haunts around Stirling and the Trossachs. I am reminded that the light in Scotland is not quite like anywhere where else; a seemingly flat grey, monochrome landscape can suddenly be transformed as the “God rays”, like giant spotlights, burst through the cloud to add drama and potency to the landscape.
The ancient pictish hillfort of Dundarn by Comrie looked particularly atmospheric in the low-level evening sunlight. I am reminded of Stuart Adamson’s song “Eileden” or Runrig’s “Heart’s of Olden Glory” about a mythical place where legends and heroes are reborn.
These are hills that I first explored as a young man but which still possess an enormous power and energy for me; like John Muir’s Sierra Nevada, these were my first “Range of Light”. It’s all too easy to forget this on a dreich, damp Scottish day – until suddenly the sun comes bursting through and the legends are once again reborn.