“If I should become a stranger, know that it would make me more than sad.” – Dougie MacLean, Caledonia
All the sights…I’d seen before…. Didn’t this used to feel more exciting than this? I wondered if it was that this was likely my 50-something’th flight in life, or that my adult brain had settled in, but it just wasn’t the same. I’d flown this route (Newark to Edinburgh) quite a few times before, but never had it felt so dull. I was going HOME for heaven’s sake! I’d cried a hundred tears this year missing it! Am I sleep deprived!? So many questions, no answers, and no solutions. My lack of enthusiasm was really making me think.
I thought back to when I was nineteen and on a big mission to love Scotland, to go where God had called. I had an insatiable love for travel, and every moment was FULL of wonder and joy! Reveling in the glory of an arial view… I was looking down at desert on the flight before. That was only the second time I’d really seen it, and yet no awe-inspiring wonder had come over me this time. I remembered how I felt when I was… oh I can’t say it, can I? ….young?….-er. I loved travel: to be moving, to see new things. This wasn’t new. Was that it? Would nothing be new ever again because I was twenty five? It wasn’t long before I concluded that this was my lot in life now, and I would be left to resent every child I encountered because I didn’t get to be them anymore.
Then, in the final hour, I opened my window (as I always do – I’ll do anything for a window seat) to look upon the “homeland” that used to make my heart swell and my eyes water. Fields and fields of green. Wow. I’d forgotten what green looked like on grass, living with a drought in California. Yet I still had no feelings. Huh. It wasn’t long before I spotted water, then the Fourth Bridge, Edinburgh…. where are you? Now I was on the hunt to see the full layout. Once, I spotted The Crags…
There you are 🙂 The sun shone down so beautifully on old Reekie. My friend. It was far too beautiful. The memories flooded my mind as I spotted every part of the city I had ever spent even a moment in. There it was. The tears came. I’d never seen this sight before. The perfect view, not to mention THE SUN?! Edinburgh only gets a couple weeks worth of sunshine a year. As the plane moved past town and then over Leith, the emotion grew greater. I was home….. but as I’d heard so loudly in my heart only fifteen months previous, This won’t be home anymore. The thought played back, echoing as a ghost. That might have been why I cried.
Relief, however, was also there. It was easy to be here. As much as I love LA, for me it simply will never even come close to my big village, where all I could think of were the faces I’d run into at every turn and the vibrant souls and creativity that color this grey and often miserable feeling city. Though the wonder had faded, I could never lose my awe for this place. There’s simply nothing like it.