June 20, 2014
“Germany was beautiful, but Scotland feels free.
Germany had some heaviness and sadness about it – regret, remembrance of hardship, mixed with a new tolerance and beauty and peace. It was picturesque – like a movie set.
Scotland feels like sun and air and sea. It makes you want to hold your arms out and drink in the sun and the swirling air. To touch the stones and lay in the grass. To laugh and play.
The rough clan and religious history of the feisty Scots is fascinating…tunneling under castles to hurry sieges, deceptions and dungeons, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, thistles and sheep, stone and sea.”
At this point in my journey, I lose track of the time and day. My journal becomes a mass of elation as we explore Scotland. I feel like I’ve found the mothership. Every day was filled with golden sun and soft green grass, flowers and breezes and sparkling sea, medieval watchtowers perched high on the craigs. Based in Edinburgh, we traveled out to St. Andrews our first morning in Scotland, the air crisp but not cold, perfect and refreshing.
“We went to St. Andrew’s Cathedral and St. Andrew’s Castle. I was blown away by the beauty of the place. The sun on my face, sea breeze bringing the seagulls’ calls through the air, my feet on the thick green grass scattered with tiny daisies, surrounded by the ruins with so many stories to tell. We climbed up narrow, twisting stone stairs to the the top of the tower at the broken cathedral. We crouched and scurried deep into the mine and counter-mine of the castle’s harsh Protestant-Catholic wars. I was giddy crawling through while water dripped on my face and I carefully placed my feet.”
We spent another day visiting the Famous Grouse Scotch distillery, tasting and laughing and enjoying our time together. Driving back to Edinburgh, watching the green hills roll past, seeing the sheep that I’ve drawn for so long, the black-faced, white, shining, familiar Scottish sheep, the mossy stone walls, the blue skies and rich fields stretching on and on in this glorious country…my heart was full. Passing the William Wallace Memorial and Stirling Castle, I wrote:
“This land inspires me; it makes me want to change. The feeling of freedom, of space and simplicity. I’m overwhelmed and moved by this place. We work hard everyday. Up and work, sleep and start over. Clean up, eat up…so much life to live. We toil and waste and spin our wheels and webs. I want to be better.”
“The world is wide, and I will not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.” -Frances E. Willard