The Angel’s Share is strong today. The smell of barley is heavy in the air, clinging to it in the same way the smell of rain lingers on tarmac. The river that feeds the distillery is running swiftly, swollen by weeks of rain, but today the sun is shining. It seems that nature has decided to abide by the human calendar and release winter as planned.
There might only be a few clouds in the sky but the wind is a biting northerly. It sends chills through me, cutting through my jeans as easily as a knife through butter. I am glad of my hat.
High overhead two sea eagles soar born aloft by air currents invisible to the human eye, no doubt grateful for day of dry after so many weeks of wet. A chance to stretch their wings and hunt.
Things are still sleepy in my island home after a long winter. People and businesses are emerging slowly from their winter hibernation, doors propped open, fingers hesitant over register buttons. All too soon the place will be swarming with tourists who dream of the idyllic life we must lead surrounded by so much beauty, out here on the edge of everything. They do not see the hardships of winter storms blown in from the Atlantic, or the long nights with not even a glimmer of a star breaking through the clouds. They dream of auroras lighting the winter sky while we dream of a day dry enough to hang out the washing.
But on days like today they are right. The sun is bright. The gulls are calling. I flex my gloved hand, feeling the workings of spring reaching up through my fingertips and inhale the crisp air.
The Angel’s Share is strong today.