July 31, 2020

How would it feel to fly?

Ailie Robertson

Solo CelloSkydance, 2020

As with so many others around the world, I spent the past months almost entirely within the walls of my flat. The highlight for me was sitting at my window every morning, watching the Spring slowly arrive. No matter how alone I felt, sitting there, I realised how much life was around me…I saw squirrels and heard birds. I saw the buds on trees opening into leaves. I noticed the subtle warming of the days. And for the first time in years, I took the time to watch it all. Most people have never seen a hen harrier, but once witnessed it’s rarely forgotten. Last spring, whilst in Orkney, I was lucky enough to spot one high above me, twirling and diving in the open sky. Utterly joyful. Completely free. Each spring the endangered bird undertakes a dramatic courtship ritual known as sky dancing. The male acrobatically rises and plunges repeatedly in order to entice an on-looking female to take him as her mate. This piece is a memory of that experience, a longing for that freedom, and a meditation and prayer that one of the outcomes of this time will be a greater awareness of our relationship with nature.