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Rewritten: Journal Entry: It is a special opportunity to experience tranquility in the natural world during this autumn season | Written by Francis Hayes


Fresh footsteps tread upon this higher valley and the diminishing path that follows along the edge of Wharry Burn’s ravine. Those who venture here are met with an unexpected display of excitement. At the top of the steep drop, where debris and rocks gather, the stream is calm. However, at the edge of the initial waterfall, the water rushes between two large sandstone rocks, gaining speed and transforming into a foaming white chute, emitting a hissing sound as if having second thoughts.

I jump over the space between the large rocks, towards the paths that are only used by deer; where the only footprints are split. These animals follow hidden paths, moving through ferns and circling around the quiet trees of the forest, such as beech, elm, ash, and birch.

A mature beech tree stands tall with its heavy branches reaching out like an open hand, adorned with a tattered glove of rich green moss. Younger trees with straight trunks stand at a respectful distance. Every now and then, leaves fall to join the countless others covering the ground. The beautiful shades of gold, copper, and bronze satisfy my craving for color. It is a special opportunity to experience tranquility in nature during this autumn season.

Wharry Burn gorge near Dunblane.

Currently, the river lies far beneath the surface and is only audible as it churns and rushes. A view of it can be obtained by peeking through the trees at the rugged edge; the strongest roots firmly grasp onto the brink. The cascading waterfalls, rushing rapids, and dark pools continue to swirl in the hidden depths. The deep ravine shields the riverbed from wandering animals and human feet, allowing the current to flow undisturbed.

A vulture descends from the treetops, spreading its wings and spiraling like a falling leaf. It notices me too late and quickly veers off into the protection of the forest.

On a previous Armistice Day, I arrived here with a red poppy pinned to my chest, in honor of those who could not return home. I still feel that this magnificent place would be the perfect spot for a weary soul to visit one last time, to listen to the river, rest on a cushioned branch, be serenaded by birdsong, and witness the setting of the November sun.

Source: theguardian.com