I was born and raised in California although I have lived in other places, it has always been home to me. When I travel, I am happy to leave it and often times happier to return. My siblings are there, my parents and grandparents are laid to rest there and all of my early formidable years, as well as my wild child, rebellious years were spent there. My son was born there and I know just about every nook and cranny of my hometown. So imagine my surprise when I travel 1/3 of the way around the world to a place I’ve never been and as soon as my feet touch ground, I feel as though I have returned home after a long time away. It’s as if my heart knows where it’s home is and recognizes it at once. That was my first trip to Scotland and my second trip, the feeling was even stronger. I don’t know (nor do I wish to know) why those feelings are so deeply felt or why I haven’t felt it before anywhere else; I just know what I feel. This place is so wild, so beautiful and has such history that I simply cannot wrap my head around the fact that I’m walking through the Necropolis where hundreds of years ago my ancestors may have walked. It gives me a connection, as if time is folding back slightly, allowing me to peek back and see what it was like. I feel closer to my heritage, I guess. If there are such things as spirits, that is the presence I feel as I walk through the streets, loving the rain, the clouds and the cold winds. My heart is happy and I smile without even realizing it. I just feel good…no added ingredients required. So I will call Scotland the home of my heart, for it truly is. It gives me a connection to the past, a paradise of cool away from the burning, unmerciful heat of California in July (or May, or September) and I just feel so gosh darned happy.
So 200 or more photos later and with only 4 more nights before I must leave, I’m stocking up on memories and am blessed to have found a friend here; an unexpected blessing that I will be greatful for and value for the treasure he is. I can only hope that this trip will not be my last here, but if it is, I’ll be okay with that.