the last time I walked your glens, I left and you cried. I wrote in ink as black as the night sky that I didn’t know when i would be back but that I longed already to return. And here I am.
Your hills run forever, high, jagged and green. In the middle are lochs or rivers, turning over and over the rocks or sitting as still and as smooth as glass. You’re home to the ocean as well, which holds seals and salmon and whales. The water itself would be normal, beautiful but seen before, if it wasn’t for your hills. The hills, so bright in the colors of my eyes, the greens, the off yellows, the browns and that abnormal purple of your heather, so rarely in bloom but so vibrant when it is. It’s not a hard purple, dark and rich or a lilac, so pale you almost miss it but a mixture, a meeting point in between the two, a color I’ve never seen before anywhere but here.
We ran together today, me and you. I was chasing you and you never move but yet you won. How unfair is that? I laugh though because how could i be mad at you? You’re a spine. You have upheld this country through so much, for many battles you were a solider yourself, giving the men and women who fought for you the advantage. You gave them nourishment and shelter, as you still do today. In many ways, you will see more than me in your lifetime, although I suppose it’s unfair to compare my life to yours because you will live forever and I will not. You have seen blood though, sweat and tears. People have been born here, lived here and died here-died for you really. You’re home to fairies and giants and stones. I am home to me, although what a strange mixture of things that is. We have both lost people. We have both loved, cried and longed. We have both felt joy so deep it pumps through your body so fast you fear you’ll burst. We have both breathed and shifted, although when I breathed my lungs move and when you breathe the wind pulls and twits. We are different you and I and yet I feel we are the same.
And so I say to you dear Highlands of Scotland, take me home. Let me in. If your power is so strong, if your pull so tight, yank me back because I want to fade to dust here. Maybe I could have-I walked the fields of Culloden yesterday and fell to my knees in front of the half oval stone that read my family’s name. My spirit fled my body for a moment to embrace those that came before, for even if our blood connection runs thin, their deaths led to my family leaving your hills to sail across the sea. Perhaps if they’d won, I wouldn’t be here, the daughter of immigrants, or maybe i would be, in some other form. Either way, life has come to be as it is because of every blink of every eye since we are all intertwined, you know that best, and so here I am, asking you to bring me home.
ps: the hardest person to love is yourself. why is that?