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…white shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise..

-JRR Tolkein, The Return of the King



Clear cut blue and green days scented with beach rose and lupine, sand between the toes and ice cream dripping off the spoon…days such as these give good topic for writing, but the time seems to slip away faster than the tide. I realized the other day that I hadn’t even sat down yet to describe the trip to Scotland last month! So many potential posts there too, but today, I think I’ll just say a few words and then let the photos speak for themselves…
Nothing ever compares to the first time that you meet a place. The magic of the discovery lies in the discovery. But, like any relationship, if the connection lasts after the first blush of love, then perhaps it’s a relationship meant to last. The overwhelming feeling that I had on this trip was one of acceptance. Everything felt natural and comfortable. Sometimes, as I tourist, I almost feel like I am not completely a part of my environment. The places, the experiences, the routine while away from home are so far outside the “normal” that I feel like I am walking in a painted landscape; playing a part in someone else’s play. (Maybe other people experience this too, and that’s why a lot of the tourists here in Maine seem like they are in a fog?!) This time in Scotland, though, I felt I was just living within an extension of home.  And yet, it was still an opportunity to step off the beaten track. I returned to Edinburgh, but this time, I was able to see a whole new layer of detail that only comes with familiarity. Instead of the highlands and the islands, on this trip, I was able to discover the quiet beauty of Crieff, in Perthshire and the Scottish Borders. The weather was shining, the spring green of the hills sharp and alive, and the yellow of the blooming fields almost blinding. Memories of Crieff: birdsong, horses, bluebells, ancient, twisted trees, rolling hills, a hint of the Highlands on the horizon…The Borders: crumbling ruins, the feeling of the ghost of a monkshood lingering behind every stone, rippling fields and slowly curling rivers, cobblestone streets, peony, rose, and seas of rapeseed…

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