This is a new idea. It came to me as I was driving through Glen Shee yesterday. It may work; it may not. I’m not even sure why I like it so much. It’s going to be secret. I’m not going to tweet it or put it on Facebook. Three women and a dog may read it. It’s my own tiny, private experiment, lost in the prairies of the internet. Every day: five hundred words and a photograph. There may be fewer than five hundred words; there will not be more.
I was thinking of not missing your life. I drive through Glen Shee quite a lot, so it is like an old friend. I love it still, but I don’t gasp any more at its grandeur. It’s my old mucker, so known and familiar I can map it in my mind with my eyes closed.
Yesterday, I opened my eyes. I got out and looked about and smelt the clean Scottish air. The car door was open and Willie Nelson was singing I really don’t know clouds at all and then I saw a most splendid sheep. He looked at me gravely. He was so fine and handsome and unafraid. We stared at each other, in contemplation.
I said, out loud: ‘I don’t expect you’ve ever heard Willie Nelson before, have you?’ He looked at me beadily, not saying yes, not saying no. Perhaps he has. Perhaps the Invercauld keepers love nothing more than Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys, at full blast, in their Land Rovers.
In the back of my mind, a voice was saying: you are in the middle of a glen, talking to a sheep. The critical voice thought this was perfectly ridiculous. The whimsical voice thought it was perfectly enchanting. The whimsical voice won.
Don’t miss your life. Because you never know when there will be Willie Nelson and a sheep, and moments like that are worth more than emeralds.