Answering the ‘call’

 

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Isle of Mull, Scotland 2017

I heard the call back in 2013 when stepping upon the earth of the soul land my heart exploded. I was tossed and turned inside out with internal screaming bursting into tears of joy and confusion. I was stuck by sheer magic and meaning of what it was like to belong to a place I never knew existed.

It took me a few years to work out what happened back then when I first visited Scotland and every year since then I couldn’t bare be parted from it. It hasn’t been easy going back and stepping into the land that knew my soul so well again and again and having to leave it behind every time with a feeling of deep grief within.

I am still in that place of neither here nor there, desperately wanting to go and needing to stay, having to live the life I have here, which is glorious in many ways. I am content yet yearning never leaves me for the place that stole my utter being and grabbed hold of me so tightly.

With each passing year the pull of the land hasn’t stopped, in fact, it has intensified with each summer when I would make the same journey and every winter when my heart would pine for it. I fought against it and even tried to convince myself it wasn’t real or happening just to test yet the answer was always the same. It is in my bones so deep I can’t be separated from it physically or spiritually.

I lived there before a long time ago and died a gruesome death with my blood spilling directly on the earth and penetrating its cells. I was of the land like a native animal that recognised smells, sounds and colours of every season the land had dressed itself in. I am still of that land, I am still that animal. I can taste it and its distinctive smell never leaves my senses. It is a particular sensation instantly recognisable by me. I can reach it at any moment yet physical separation remains too much to bear.

I live with my heart open and always listen carefully and intentionally to what the next step might be…

 

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The Land of dreaming

Caingorms National park, Scotland
Upland spring by Loch Etchachan, Cairngorm National Park, Grampian Area. ©Lorne Gill/SNH

Am I asleep or am I dreaming? What is this feeling of all consuming something my heart struggles to hold yet wants so deeply? I am overjoyed yet bereft at the same time. I cry and laugh all in one moment of sheer madness when I lay my hands on the land. My feet touch the green softness moist with the promise of morning dew. I live, I die, I am in haven yet in pain.

My love affair with the land began a few years ago when I first experienced this strange merging with something. I came upon a place that had a certain smell, vibration where I felt I died and gone to heaven, where my body struggled to adjust to all that air, space and majestic wilderness. Did it touch upon my own sleepy wild heart? It made me cry mad words into the air and at others surrounding me. It made no sense to myself or anyone else yet I couldn’t stop screaming, crying and falling breathless on the grass of the earth seemingly sacred to my soul. It felt like reawakening of love of some kind, familiar yet new, scary yet exciting. Ever since the first step upon the land this dance of confusion carried on summer after summer.

Ambivalent, powerful pull like a voice that screams terrible words one minute and sings a soft lullaby the next. I hear it always yet the message is unclear. Come, go, stay, leave, dance, sit, scream, be quiet. Whatever it all means I find the unfolding of this relationship fascinating.

I am still searching for a settlement. It is alive in my mind, but reality is quite scary. Whenever I am in the land of my dreaming I feel hugely overwhelmed, bitter-sweet, can’t breathe it is too much air type of situation, total intoxication, grief at the thought of separation, yet a relief somewhat when away, but not for long, as the yearning of the heart returns just as strong to merge with it again and it continues like this year after year. I find myself quite confused about it all by now…

I love it so much it hurts

I love it so much it hurts. The land welcomes me this time with open arms and I feel nothing but warmth and nurture. I feel at home and I instantly recognise that familiar smell of the land, which I know well. It is raining and I am in my element of gentle water standing on a lake shore watching gentle giants mountains hugging the shore. I touch the water, it is clear and crispy cold and through my body pure joy spreads. It is a dance of recognition, which I feel a lot stronger this time round. While my husband looks nostalgic for hot weather and home, I am home. I tell him that most of my happiest memories took place either in rain or snow and I acknowledge that link and it makes sense.

Isle of Mull – lush and green with landscape showing off its mountains, valleys, lochs, forests and sea. It is such a mixture of the elements that makes it so rich. It is incredibly peaceful here like nowhere else I had felt in Scotland so far; well, perhaps, only the first time in Perthshire where my love for the land first stuck me. We are staying in the middle of nowhere and it feels so safe to me here. It feels like no one and nothing would find me here and if I was to stay I would be happy for the rest of my days. My heart begins to ache along with joy I cry inside for wanting to merge with the land forever. It hurts in my chest and with each breath I can’t seem to get enough. That feeling of safety is a new one, as previously while in Scotland I have always felt conflicted and often anxious, even scared. Not this time. Here I have come into myself somehow and the land here is so gentle in comparison with Northern Highlands or the Isle of Skye, e.g. Those places activated my shadow material and threw me into an emotional turmoil amidst some deeply spiritual experiences. The land there is fierce, wild, unforgiving and untouchable in its stunning beauty. It is majestic and independent. Here I am held, firmly and I can hear the land speaking to me. It is gentle and soothing. Vibration is of softness and it touches on places within me much lighter and happier. This reflects in our relational dynamics between the boys and me. Our trip was very different this time round like we all tapped into a gentler way of being with one another, there is less conflict and more recognition and acknowledgment of needs all around.

Standing in the garden I witness deer coming in closer grazing on lush green vegetation surrounding the house. It is a beautiful sight and they stop and stare at me in silent pause. God it is so peaceful here! Even deer is different here compared to imposing huge stags of the Highlands. These deer are gentler and smaller and devoid of antler crowns. My response to them is also strikingly different, less of knee shaking awe and worship-like way of witnessing them, it is quieter, softer and more ‘homely’ somewhat. As I lie in bed looking out of the window with views to die for I feel my heart beating with such love. It is intense and aching, as I already know how hard it will be leaving this land in a few days.

My Scottish Highlands trip 2016

My spiritual home gifted me with a few lessons of practical, personal, Earthly type of nature. My trip this year was a learning experience more than my usual spiritual one, but, oh so needed and so useful. 

We don’t always get what we want but we sure get what we need. This has been true for me again.

Feeling grateful and humbled. 

Enjoy the pictures. Places featured

Northern Scotland beaches

Highlands rivers 

Ben Nevis, near Fort William

Glencoe mountains

Lake Laggan and others (Mornach of the Glen film estate)

Caignorms National Park