Scotland has some of the oldest rock in the world and is geologically different from its neighbour. The presence of its inhabitants, past, present and future, is embedded its surface. Sometimes it is not loved, its depths of beauty unseen, its voice unheard, its integrity unacknowledged as the fearful human mind tries to impose its own priorities. As if not part of it we have separated off and made it a backdrop, flattening its importance and alienating ourselves. The consequences both for environment and the human mind are dire. These issues have occupied me as a cloud of uncomfortable feelings for some time. By creating the characters and story slowly in increments over years, like landscape, it has allowed me to put space around them, examining them closely in order to articulate what I need to say. Each word has been chosen carefully, perhaps in a way more akin to poetry than conventional prose, in order to excavate the layers. The structure emerges itself. Informed by my own experience, those of my ancestors and what I see around me today, I have made clearer what I already sensed – that the environment and the personal cannot be separated.