Here be Midnight

Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Christmas Hermit

My gratitude is never-ending for this wee home in hideaway hills. 

Surrounded by a million Christmas trees and an ever-changing river song, our morning walks are full of a magic that is more often found amidst the musty pages on your grandparents bookshelf than in the so called 'real world'. Thought-melting views and heart-warming wildlife encounters – there is truly a sense of magic and tranquility in the air that fills these spellbinding uplands of southern Scotland.

I have witnessed the end of a long raspberry filled Summer, a beautiful Larch yellow Autumn and the white cloak of Winter in just these few months. Almost as though the landscape was showing off her wardrobe for us to fully appreciate her beauty.  Natures generosity seems boundless.

Samye Ling Tibetan Monastery is not very far from here. Its tranquil presence is a peaceful heart-beat in the valley I now call home. I am truly honoured and blessed to be learning the gentle art of Thangka  painting at Samye Ling. In these early, slightly dishevelled settling-in days,  I gather together as many hours as I can to sit in front of an enormous canvas that is one of a series of twelve that will tell the story of the Buddhas life.

Prayer wheels, maroon robes and the sound of tibetan prayers are a part of my weeks now and the peace it inspires I will never have words for.

At home, whilst rummaging through my old sketches I found a sketch for a Christmas card.  A robed old man amongst fir trees. His monk like presence and the snow covered trees reminded me so much of this place that I decided it was time to bring him to life.

Far to the North in a land where the Winter nights become so large that the Moon becomes the Sun and the bright light of day rests on the ground. Days where starlight and snow blink and glisten in conversation with each other,  there lives a contented hermit. 

He did not always live here. Time's path travelled him through many lines of latitude and longitude  and as he wandered he gathered bright stories from wise souls. All the while The North constantly calling quietly. Never interfering, gently guiding, until a day finally came when a last wise soul told one last bright tale. A tale that filled the last space in his heart and emptied the last thought from his mind. He had arrived –  he was home.

He lives there still, in Northern quietude, amongst star-song and tree-light with the glow of heartwarming tales twinkling in his eyes.

May your Christmas and New Year be filled with beautiful stories and such a peace as to make your eyes sparkle.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much. I just spied your blog, what a wonderful puppet you've created!

  2. Fantastic pictures - full of peace and beauty! And the paintings are adorable!
    Have a wonderful christmas time!
    All the best to you and yours