4.30am in Edinburgh. It’s the morning after election day and, after hours spent stationary on the sofa, I notice the cracks of daylight below the curtains. I pull them back and the sky is turning from pastel to blue over the hulk of Arthur’s Seat, the dormant volcano that looms over the Edinburgh skyline. I can make out small dots on the summit and I attach my zoom lens to my camera.
We have spent over six hours stationed in front of the television, watching the country’s votes drip feed into tangible results. As the dark hours become the small light ones, I’m reminded of those other heart-stopping results, made even worse by sleeping through the televised coverage. The shock when we refreshed our Twitter feeds or news apps the next morning. The disbelief, and then stomachs falling to our feet (even though we were horizontal in our beds).
And so it’s only when I spot the light beneath the curtains, and from the kitchen, that I disconnect from the screen. I pad through, bare feet on the carpet and hands around my camera, and stare out the square window. There are people on the peak. The sky is pastel above Arthur’s Seat, the lump of volcanic rock shadowed in the weak light. I zoom in.
From screen to summit, my eyes focus and I envy that couple enjoying the view over the city. A view that — aside from buildings growing like fungi from the rolling green landscapes below — has barely changed in centuries. As the weeks go on and the world spirals from mortal decisions, I think of those two tiny dots taking refuge and finding perspective in nature.
How do you escape from the never-ending (and not always positive) news updates?