Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Strong in my pride and free.
Bob sees my 'going away' shoes and goes into a deep funk. Sophie is too busy chasing blackbirds to notice. Called back to a Scotland swathed in rose bay willow herb. Maybe you need to be away to appreciate the sky and the lochs and the untameable landscape .
It's bright when I arrive, then, true to form, it pours before settling into a warm, almost hot, afternoon. The sun turning the Kyles gold. The bearded young minister is accompanied by his Sheltie. The dog, now used to such occasions, curls up in the shelter of the kirk porch and sleeps. He wakes, briefly, at the sound of the pipes. The second time in 24 hours I've heard the line '' If it be life that waits, I shall live forever unconquered. If death, I shall die at last, strong in my pride and free ". As defiantly Celtic as poetry can be. The same words on the Scots American Memorial in Edinburgh .
Crimond. A gaelic Amazing Grace. The Dark Island piped as a graveside farewell. Scottish ritual. A dram of The Macallan shared with siblings and nephews. A black sporran gathering. "My goodness Aonghus you've not changed a bit ". Then back to Edinburgh, where even though it's late, the sun is still shining .
Bob and Sophie will be coming to the airport today .