Some places hit you over the head. Some are softer and creep in like the fog in the night. For me, Scotland is the latter. It was certainly special while we were there, but with the distance of three months now, my fondness has only grown.
The people are among the nicest I’ve met in the UK. I could listen to them talk all day. There is laughter in their voices and a twinkle in their eyes. There is sadness in their souls as well. This only gives them depth and character. They feel like whole people, not mannequins.
The food is the best I’ve had in the UK. I love a Cornish pasty, but other than that, the cuisine of the rest of Great Britain leaves a lot to be desired. I bought back an appreciation for whiskey, cranachan, cullen skink, whisky, and Scotch pie. People who eat well know joy. Food is love, after all.
Those things are just icing on a lovely cake. The real appeal of Scotland is in the water. It’s everywhere. The Atlantic lies on the west coast. The North sea is to the east. Both are very different bodies of water. Then you can’t go very far without tripping over a loch. Waterfalls cascade down the highland mountains. A day doesn’t pass without the rain coming down. Then it hangs in the air in the mist.
Water rules emotion. Water likes to flow. Lots of that happened. It felt timeless, like the feeling of all the ages and all life ran through me. I felt the tragedy of the Massacre at Glencoe in the land where civilians died of exposure after their clan was killed and their homes burned. The ghosts of Culloden still cry on the battlefield where people, their culture, language, and entire way of life died.
But it was not all sadness. Hope hung in the air too. The sky, rocks, waterfalls, and people can’t be destroyed. Life goes on forever. In the little nooks and crannies a stray faery or two can be felt, promising a return to magic some day.
Scotland has it all, really. You feel the whole circle of life here happening all at once. There is a sense that underlying everything, life breathes, love lives. No matter what struggles come – whether it be blood, poverty, hunger, or even death – life and beauty will go on. It’s a wonderful place to be when you’re in need of rejuvenation or just a reminder.
You have to be still and quiet to hear it whisper. Or maybe you just need to clear the sand out of your eyes and heart. It’s patient. It persists. Scotland will wait for you to embrace it. There are so many layers of beauty that you’ll be endlessly entertained here. If you haven’t gone yet, go. Maybe we will too.