While Algy was reading, he noticed some movements among the irises in the shallow water, so he put his book down and moved closer to the stream. He was hoping to meet a frog, but although he watched very carefully, no frog appeared. He was a wee bit disappointed, but there were plenty of tiddlers and Whirligig Beetles in the burn this spring, so Algy spent a happy afternoon watching them instead 🙂

It was another fine bright day, so Algy took a book of verse down to the place where the quiet burn tumbles through a wee channel with a soothing sort of gurgling, sploshing noise. He perched on the grass opposite the bed of wild irises, which were just beginning to shoot up their spiky green leaves again, and settled down with his book balanced on his knees to enjoy a happy Sunday morning’s reading. As he turned the pages he came upon a most appropriate rhyme:

          Bee! I’m expecting you!
          Was saying Yesterday
          To Somebody you know
          That you were due—

          The Frogs got Home last Week—
          Are settled, and at work—
          Birds, mostly back—
          The Clover warm and thick—

          You’ll get my Letter by
          The seventeenth; Reply
          Or better, be with me—
          Yours, Fly.

[Algy is quoting the poem Bee! I’m Expecting You! by the 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson.]                

When the tide came in, Algy moved back from the water’s edge, onto an area of soft green grass. He gazed out across the great sea loch towards the other shore, with its hills shrouded in low-lying clouds. Some distance beyond those hills lay his home in the far west, and the irises would be flowering there too now. It was surely time to set off homewards… As Algy reclined among the wildflowers in the low light of the long summer evening, he remembered a poem by Rabindranath Tagore:

The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.

I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my
voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet.

It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself,
and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune.

The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own,
and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.

My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said “Here art thou!”

The question and the cry “Oh, where?” melt into tears of a thousand
streams and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance “I am!”

[Algy is quoting the poem Journey Home by the late 19th/early 20th century Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore.]