Kilt Rock Waterfall, Isle of Skye, Scotland by Andrew Ilachinski

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Picture Story

The image was captured on the Isle of Skye during a family trip to Scotland. From a bird's eye view, Scotland is a sublime, preternatural wonder of equal measures drama and serenity. It pulses with a quiet soulful elegance and beauty all its own. From its tranquil green pastures (punctuated by the "baah-baahs" of its sheep and "moooooos" of its Highland cows), to its rugged coastlines, to its majestic Wagnarian-like skies and clouds, to the magnificent wind-swept jagged peeks of the mountains on the isle of Skye, to its many Castles and pre-historical sites (such as Maeshowe and Ring of Brodgar, both dating back to before 2500BC), Scotland is a land of almost infinitely diverse terrains and vistas. But how to capture the *feel* of Scotland?

A hint comes from the great Scottish author Neil Gunn, who, in describing Scotland in one of his novels set in the 1930s, "This is ... the land of exquisite light. Lochs and earth and sea pass away to a remote horizon where a suave line of pastel foothills cannot be anything but cloud. Here the actual picture is like a picture in a supernatural mind and comes upon the human eye with the surprise that delights and transcends memory. Gradually the stillness of the far prospect grows unearthly. Light is silence. And nothing listens where all is of eternity."

I found a bit of Scotland's quiet light and elegant silence at Mealt Falls (located on the northeastern part of the Isle-of-Skye). It is not the rugged coastline, not the ocean water, not even the waterfall itself that is the central focus of this picture, but Scotland's innate transcendent stillness. Every time I look at this photo, the "feel" of Scotland comes rushing back into my soul.


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