It has been a little bit quiet around here in the last week and no, I didn't run out of things to say - as if that would ever happen - I was in fact on vacation. I know, what a terrible excuse. A writer is always writing...right? I was certainly inspired. But that's Scotland for you...she does that.
This is my third time visiting Scotland, and it won't be the last. Scotland has this terrible habit of getting under your skin. I have spoken to folk who have never even been there - but have this unexplainable longing in their heart to go home. To go home to a place that they have never been. To a place that only their heart seems to know. Strange...isn't it? Or maybe it isn't, perhaps there is some scientifically rational explanation to this indisputable tug towards a particular place. Or let's be romantic and say it is our ancestors calling us home.
"A Scot is a Scot even unto a hundred generations."
Melrose Abbey ~ On the Scottish Borders
Even if it is just my fanciful imagination, I like to think that Scotland is, shall we say, in the blood. My ancestors certainly came from there. They were an integral part of Scottish History, just as my ancestors were to English History. But as I stood at the monument at Bannockburn, I felt an almost overwhelming sense of the past got through me. Voices, shadows, hopes, fears, kind eyes, cruel ones, exhaustion and relief - no joy, just relief that it was over. A writer's paradise if you like. I can close my eyes and hear the music, and I am not the only one. The past is alive, if only you will take the time to listen, Scotland will tell you her story.
The Robert the Bruce Monument, Bannockburn ~ Stirling
Today, our obsession with Scotland can be blamed on films like Braveheart or the majestic story telling of Diana Gabaldon, Outlander series. Scotland is in vogue, so to speak. And although the Scots call Braveheart "that comedy," it has romanticised their country for them. Everyone knows who William Wallace is - thanks to Braveheart. I had certainly not heard of him, until then.
The Wallace Monument ~ Stirling
I was taking a guided tour at Hopetoun House in Edinburgh. Hopetoun House was used on location for Outlander. The tour guide said that since Outlander, they have a least one visit per day from tourists who come to the house because of the Outlander connection. He said they have a lot to thank Outlander for, and then he laughed and said, "of course, it wasn't really like that. Outlander only tells the one side of events. It wasn't the Jacobite's ( Scotland) against the might of the English Army. It was a little more complicated than that.
Hopetoun House ~ Edinburgh
And that is Scottish history for you...it is a little bit complicated.
I am going to look at some of the places I visited in future posts. But for now, I'll just leave you with this...
On the way to Hermitage Castle ~ the Scottish Borders