Chant du monde boréal
Sandshifter, 60N.
Where it all makes sense.



Through Chronicles from Arcania, I shall attempt to share walks with you, this poetics from 60N, where I feel at one with our Earth, my sense of place so maritime.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Last of February

I love this more and more precocious light.
Sunrise and sunset stretch like a celestial rubberband - yes, we're sliding away from darkness! What a joy to wake up to a lightsome sky and today, on this final day of February, we have been blessed with nordic blue, that washed off colour in our eyes that fills your heart, inner spirit with energy and flawless joy. But now I try to harness my patience to reach  the Vernal equinox, in the hope that, until then,  winter will at last begin to losen its grip upon us...

February remains traditionally our coldest, harshest month of the year.

Although the North Atlantic Drift (the most northerly edge of the Gulf Stream) protects us from the kind of deep freeze our Scandivian neighbours have to endure on the continent, by now you are fully aware we are not spared with snow! Although we sometimes tend to forget we are part of a very natural world, the elements rule our islands. And until we accept this, we're sometimes forced to a stand still, as the planet reminds us all... Dormant garden, hedgehogs still fast asleep, starlings feasting on rotten kelp, the world feels meagre to its dwellers.

As nordic sun gathers up strength, we nonetheless feel its increasing power again. To put on record this last day, I opted for a lunchtime walk around Stove. Although our roads have now been cleared, motor's still stranded on thick ice on the driveway (!) Let's be stoic about it all, walking doesn't produce any carbon footprints and will be counting on my school bus on Tuesday!

My current Nordic blue world is very pleasing to the eye, however, I miss the shades of green around our land!

We must never forget we live in circles and light rotates with us in harmony.

The following piece reflects this final thought.
It is very much an earthly one which was well  received at the 2006 Shetland Book Festival in Lerwick.

Light Recordings

indigo blue,
interwoven sounds of curlews,
wrens & blackbirds – tap-dancing rain,        
            snippik drumming beyond midnight;                        
                        migrating shalders to Iceland.


boreal-blue, electric white,
sunsets too lazy in sea fog –
redshanks, peewits just won’t shut down;
                        waders return from Arctic.


     dim, honey-gold,   
            often tormented by the wind –
                        a million feathers on passage
                                    are hiding low in our heather;
                                                wild geese talk russian in their sleep…
                                                                        Early gales whistle their return.


metallic grey, blunt eerie dark,
sometimes draped to elude our eyes –
yellow, red, green,                                         
gift from the sun…                                                    
gangs of starlings gather to glow                                           
better on snow, black against white;
                        10 days of gale
                                    shortened by night
                                                deafen our souls.
Copyright © Nat Hall

Poet’s Note: “snippik”: a delightful Shetland breeding wader
 a.k.a the snipe.

With a little more on the Vernal Equinox


  1. What a beautiful post. My desperation for spring always kicks into high gear at the end of February, and March for me is the most difficult, because it is so close, yet can also feel so far. I think the buds that are poking out of the ground here know (and feel) something that I do not.

  2. Hello PurestGreen :)
    Thank you for your kind words. Wow, I feel exactly the same about March; i too have a similar love-hate relationship with it! However, we do live in circles and the trick is to distract our minds & keep our hearts happy until that long expected equinox :)
    Oh you lucky with buds and i dearly hope no further ground frost will jinx them all! I tell you what, there will be a very special blog entry on 20 March! :)))

  3. Thank you for the beautiful reminder of Lifes' cycles.

  4. Thank you kindly :)
    they are so precious and am glad you enjoyed them too.

  5. lovely words and photos, I agree with PurestGreen about becoming despreate for Spring around this time of year. I've just read an article that says that the cold winter we've had will mean Spring this year happens at its normal time - as last experienced 10 or 15 years ago before climate change started making spring happen early.

  6. Thank you kindly, Juliet. Yes, I hear what you say about a return to normal season... What was exceptional was the temporary absence of "normal" winter/spring over the past 10-15 years. Soon we shall rejoice! :))