Tenderness has a heart that beats more slowly.
~ Romain Gary
I got to bide a wee while with my lassy as she’s walking her heavy backpack across Scotland.
Caught up with her after she’d already wrapped two months in Ireland. Wherever she goes, she swims–no matter what the weather. No matter that she has no swimsuit on her. My god she’s a wonder, this girl. Fears nothing . . . arms wide open.
In fact, all over the UK–from July until Christmas–she’s exploring herself in the wider world.
If no one is looking, I take her hand and hold it . . . I touch the hair she’s grown into dreadlocks and smooth it like I did when she was a little girl. She lets me, just like she did when she was a little girl.
I dunno if there is a man strong enough for her. She never thinks of such things . . . the doubting part of things, that is.
Someday, I want to grow up to be just like her.
My Irish friend Theresa punctuates everything with a little epithet “it’s magic” regardless of whether we’re discussing decent petrol prices or a waterfall. Yesterday, I heard her voice and that description as I stopped in the middle of the tiny lane known in Scotland to be a single-track road–a generous description at best. I was trekking along through the forest south of Loch Ness where these the “heilin coos” (highland cows) were grazing in a pasture without fences. The fella on a motorcycle who was trying to guide me back to the mainroad I’d lost a long time ago double-backed to find where I’d gone astray again. He lived in these parts and totally understood my diversion. He affirmed that things down here in the “fairy glen” often have an otherwordly look to them. I asked him if he’d ever seen any fairies and he said well, not exactly that he could be sure, but once there was a naked woman right there in the woods. He reflected on the memory a moment. That had to be magic, he said.
After a well manneredly morning of service at the Church of Scotland on the Isle of Gigha off the Kintyre Peninsula, the local historian (and relative to practically everyone living here) Alasdair Mc whose family has lived here “a thousand years” invited me back to his farm (circa 1750ish) for a look at the parish records to find my ancestors here.
They abound . . . it was such fun, the BEST of travel. (I am such a cheap date.)
His wife set us up with a wee dram and I wish I had another right now because the weather has turned blustery cold today.
The ferry back to the mainland ‘ll be sloshin’ and it’ll be awhile before I feel the warmth of yesterday.
There are many ways Scotland has to warm ye.