Sunday, October 26, 2008

Edinburgh: Changed Priorities Ahead

So I have gathered unto myself
All the loose ends of Scotland,
And by naming them and accepting them,
Loving them and identifying myself with them,
Attempt to express the whole.
Hugh MacDiarmid, "Scotland" Selected Poems (1992)

Patty and I walked our feet down to stubs the last two days in Edinburgh. Good thing we were conditioned from our walk across England.

We toured the inside of Edinburgh Castle, built on that rock that has been inhabited by some people or another for the last 8000 years. The Abbey ruins and palace at Holyrood. The Museum of Scotland where we checked out the history of the Jacobite rebellion and learned Scotland had once been close to the South Pole. The National Gallery of Art. We went back to Clarinda's, our favorite tea spot.

We took a gazillion pictures of the castle inside,

and out.

Another gazillion of the abbey ruins at Holyrood, inside...

and out.

In the evening we took in another view from our hotel window, this time from a little inn, Melvin House, off the beaten path.

On the last morning before catching our flight back home, I took a walk by myself to say goodbye to the bit of the city that had given us much to think about. It was one of those overcast, off and on drizzly Edinburgh days we had known and grown to love. I walked again through Princes Garden and took one last photo of the castle.

Along Princes Street to take in the skyline of the Old Town.

Walking back in the direction of Melvin House, I was a wee bit lost. Well, I was verra lost until I came across a street sign we had puzzled over the day before.

Looking around, there is no clear meaning of the sign, no construction, no clear traffic changes. Hm-m-m. Might it have some philosophical implications?

Back home, I mulled over the changed priorities thing. I needed to make some change, and finally Patty gave me an idea. Now, every night at 7:00 I put down whatever I'm doing and go to my cozy chair and read. Not just that 10-15 minutes before one falls asleep or those few hours on a flight. I'm on the fifth volume of the Outlander series, and working my way down that stack of books waiting to be finished.

This is the last of our Hadrian's Wall Walk and Edinburgh stories. I finish with the same sadness with which I left Edinburgh. To those who have read these stories, I would say,

Travel, even if just to a nearby burgh.
Look for adventure, even going to the Farmer's Market.
Meet new peoples.
Get out of the car or tour bus and onto your feet.
Learn the history of what you see.
Change a priority.


Sonnjea said...

I love the changed priorities sign! I guess sometimes when you ask for a sign, it actually comes in the form of a sign...

Katharine said...

Yes, it was a concrete response to that prayer, "Lord, give me a sign".

Pat said...

Wahhhh! I'm so sad.

Pat said...

Nice post, by the way, Kath!

Katharine said...

Muchas gracias, hermana.

Kappa no He said...

I don't care what anyone says. I want to live in a castle. Gorgeous post!

Katharine said...

Thanks for the gracious compliment. I spent the weekend with my Japanese friends back East. I must have Tetsu again remind me what is a kappa no he.

Pat said...

Uh Kath? Go read the heading on Kappa's blog.