Moment of Stillness

It’s Easter Friday and I’m surrounded by the sounds of a busy cafe. The snowy day I wrote about in my last post has been replaced by a strengthening spring sun. In a few hours I’ll be stepping onto the stage to give my first performance of Portraits of Earth. It’ll be only the third time I’ve played the collection through from beginning to end; the first time was to my brother and fiancée and the second was when I recorded the album.

I walked up a narrow lane last night; the moon was shining but slightly blurred by high cloud. I stood looking over silver fields and the twinkling lights of villages. In the distance the clouds were lower and thicker and they glowed with the light of the town of Dumfries, home to Scotland’s oldest working theatre that will host the first concert of my tour. I stood there for some time, watched over by a tree that was growing up behind me on the high bank. I closed my eyes for a moment. The months have been moving by, many things have happened. The world is a huge place, full of so many things, places and stories. But in that moment, as I closed my eyes, I focused gently into my own story and the threads that had lead me to that moment. For five years I have been composing the music for this album. Then came the recordings, and then the organising and planning, helped by many people. All of that had lead to this moment, to me standing alone in the moonlight. Time slowed. Sea air drifted up from the Solway Firth, the body of water that lies between South-West Scotland and the North-West of England, and a single car hurtled along the country roads somewhere in the distance.

Opening my eyes, seeing Dumfries in the distance, I whispered thank you. It had just been a brief moment, but I felt different. I was now ready to step from one place to another - from busyness and planning to performing and sharing. Turning back I followed the dark road back down into the village and slept deeply.