The pathway up out of Glencoe isn’t called ‘the devils staircase’ for nothing. The series of winding hairpin bends makes for a long plod. My companion walks fast, keeping up a steady pace. I walk in carefully measured sections, from bend to bend, zigzagging to avoid the steepness of the climb.
Then I stop. I wait and look. Looking down shows where the patterns lie, criss crossed paths, rough mounds, all levelled by the height. The pathway winds from Bridge of Orchy, appears smooth and easy but yesterday it was a tough and rough old drove road. The rough paths, taken at a distance, become smooth and are given pattern.
Sometimes the patterns make sense; often they don’t but I carry on looking anyway because there’s beauty and weaving and simplicity as I look down from a distance. Where before there was only confusion and lack of conviction because of ridges, corners and a mysterious future not yet in sight, now there is clarity of a kind. As time weaves and winds, yesterday’s future slowly blends into tomorrow’s past.
The river and the road wind endlessly out of sight. The fields are patchwork. Buachaille Etive Mor rises in awesome majesty, overlooking all. I hold the weaving and patchwork patterns but plod on, up the staircase, breathless, to see what’s over the hill. My companion is always waiting……
Always, my companion waits….