The equinox has passed and, with it, simmer has slipped into hairst’s golden grip. It’s hard to define the changing seasons
The equinox has passed and, with it, simmer has slipped into hairst’s golden grip. It’s hard to define the changing seasons in Shetland. It seems that we have two: summer and winter. But, if you look – and listen – closely, signs of hairst are all around us. I’ve often heard the saying that voar comes in slowly over the moss and hairst comes galloping in on its horse. And this rings true as long days of summer quickly give rise to dark nights, unsettled and stormy weather. It happens quickly; the seasons click. But look closely and spot the subtle signs of hairst and take pleasure in them as they are all around us; the change in the air with its crispness and clarity, the dew on the grass on a cool morning and the long shadows cast as the sun takes a lower passage across the horizon.
Reading Helen Moncrieff’s comment in this month’s ‘Nature Calendar’ has got me thinking. I spend a lot of time out in nature. That said, I do still feel the stresses and pressures of the day-to-day, and they can catch up with me. Autumn colds take hold and energy levels ebb away as the body changes into a new season. The only thing that I find helps overcome post-summer burnout is getting outside and gasping in a few lungfuls of fresh air. Some of my best ideas have come to me while outside, soaking in a view, or as Helen said last month, watching a maalie! We can all suffer from not spending enough time outside, and equally, we can all benefit from more time in nature – so go on, get outside and see what nature can do for you.
Last month the Sound School was vandalised – as was our car – and I read a comment online from a young person stating that there was “nothing to do in Shetland”. Justification – of sorts – of a mindless act of vandalism. Statements like these annoy and upset me more than any other. We are extremely privileged to live in a beautiful part of the world where we have freedom without boundaries and endless horizons to explore. Having spent four years living bound up in a city, I can assure these young people that the grass isn’t greener on the other side and that mindlessly walking through precincts and squares into yet another bowling alley or soft-play brings little real joy or fulfilment. So, take the time to open the curtains to the outside world and look at the opportunities that we enjoy here. I am forever grateful for all that Shetland has to offer my family and me.
And the good news? Viking Energy has suffered another setback, ensuring the safety of our precious islands for a little while longer, so, perhaps we too can breathe a little easier as we slide into hairst.