Hello and welcome to this month’s edition of the Voice.

As September begins there is a lot going on around the world to contemplate. There is a lot going on with the nation’s precarious political situation, or rather about to stop, with the suspension of Parliament. Further afield problems continue with the fires burning in the Amazon, and closer to home the prospect of fish farm expansion is looming. There is so much to potentially take in, where does one begin?

The Poem for September might be a good place. Isla Blair, our regular poem contributor, has chosen Caterpillar by Norman McCaig. It is a close look at the way a caterpillar journeys, a refreshingly simple but powerful reflection on the particular way caterpillars move, before McCaig brings the reader back to a broader perspective on how we in some way all experience this world. We each take our particular steps but as the caterpillar illustrates, as it reaches into empty space, trying to find the certainty of landing its next step, we don’t know what we will find or where exactly we will get to. Isla reminds us that what makes the difference is how we approach this uncertainty, with resistance and fear, or with some acceptance and grace. With so much information in our lives, and so many issues and uncertainties to navigate, this seems like an honest, modest and hopeful place to start.

Having the poem to introduce this issue is perhaps fitting as well, as the start of September takes us right into the heart of the McLellan Festival.

Otherwise there is a lot going in Arran this month. There is a screening of the film Vitamin Sea, the story of an inspirational woman Cal Major who last year achieved a paddleboarding record, from Land’s End to John o’Groats, to highlight the urgency of protecting our marine environments. The now annual Arran Geofest is also on in the middle of the month, as well as a variety of concerts, an event on understanding dementia and an unusual and highly imaginative theatre for children is coming to Whiting Bay at the end of the month too. We hope you enjoy the issue and have a great month!