The wind blew fresh from the north and the air felt chill: summer was over and autumn was closing in fast. The mists loitered all day around the hilltops, never very far away. The swallows and other migrant birds were preparing to leave, and some had already gone, but the heather was blooming – the last hurrah of the West Highland summer. Algy nestled among the tiny fragrant bells, and listened to the wind sighing in the trees behind him as the damp mist swept back down from the hill. He was glad of the wind, even though it was bringing a change of season:

          A host of poppies, a flight of swallows;  
          A flurry of rain, and a wind that follows  
          Shepherds the leaves in the sheltered hollows
             For the forest is shaken and thinned.

          Over my head are the firs for rafter;
          The crows blow south, and my heart goes after;
          I kiss my hands to the world with laughter—
             Is it Aidenn or mystical Ind?

          Oh, the whirl of the fields in the windy weather!
          How the barley breaks and blows together!  
          Oh, glad is the free bird afloat on the heather—
             Oh, the whole world is glad of the wind!

[Algy is quoting An Old Road by the late 19th/early 20th century American poet Edwin Markham.]

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