Songs at Twilight

The most beautiful sound I have ever heard was created by about a dozen old men in a little church on the island of Lewis and Harris.

You will probably never hear it. It is part of a culture that is fading away.

Lewis and Harris is the northernmost island of the Outer Hebrides, and it feels like a different world from most of Scotland. Stacks of black peat sit in front of the homes, to burn for fuel, and the smell of it is always on the air. A sign at the start of a path, reading “Please Respect the Sabbath,” does not seem out of place. The sun in the winter rises at 9:00 in the morning and sets at 3:00 in the afternoon. It is a place of desolate beauty and old-fashioned faith.

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Daniel Witt is a writer and English teacher living in Amman, Jordan.

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