Love & Castles: Going back in time on a Scotland Roadtrip

“But just then, for that fraction of time, it seems as though all things are possible. You can look across the limitations of your own life, and see that they are really nothing. In that moment when time stops, it is as though you know you could undertake any venture, complete it and come back to yourself, to find the world unchanged, and everything just as you left it a moment before. And it’s as though…” He hesitated for a moment, carefully choosing words. “As though, knowing that everything is possible, suddenly nothing is necessary.”
― Jamie Fraser in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander

Have you ever felt this feeling? Peace in your heart, mind & body. All of a sudden, there is no trace of fears or worry. No desired outcomes are too remote, or too urgent. All that matters is the love & presence in the current moment. I have found this during quiet meditation, during connection with loved ones & nature, and upon waking from a rejuvenating sleep.

Scottish Highlands – August 2014

The quote above is my favorite, from the book Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, as it serves as a beautiful reminder to believe in the limitlessness of the universe (& of love) while cherishing the present moment of now.

Beyond loving this quote, I couldn’t put the book down & gobbled the 850 pages up despite being a fairly slow reader. Motivated to get reading by my Thirty before 30 challenge, the timing of reading this couldn’t have been better! I bought the book over a year ago on a friend’s recommendation (although it turns out she had never heard of it & actually recommended the book Outliers), and I thought what better time to finally read it then while traveling in Scotland – as this is where the adventure unfolds!

Not only am I a sucker for a great love story (which this is), but the vivid tales of life in Scotland over 250 years ago came alive in the cobblestone streets, ancient Castle ruins, Lochs & mountains as we ventured through the Scottish countryside. I am not sure if it was finally visiting Scotland in the blue skied summertime (okay, not always blue, but bluer than the grey winter skies we usually travel under), the electrifying green blankets of the hills & pastures, or perhaps just connecting with the well written stories of the people who walked this same ground so many years ago. Enveloped by the magic of Scotland’s Highlands, I could feel the joys & hardship of early and modern generations simultaneously – kind of like the main character in the book Claire. The spirit of Scotland-both ancient & strong- is heavy in the air. The people’s courage & kind hearts shine through their thick accents.

This “Sassenach” taking a moment for peace & play with yoga on the castle grounds above Loch Ness, Scotland.

This isn’t meant to be a book review (although I highly recommend you take this adventure back in time!), just a reflection on the vast beauty & mystery that exists in our world & in humanity – independent of time. I breathed in the crisp mountain air & then relished in the warmth of humidity as Scotland’s weather continuously morphed around us. I journeyed through history reading Outlander while exploring the lands previously divided & defended by the clans. Then I went to the cities, reconnected with family & modern Scottish folk.

The question & struggle for independence still laces life in Scotland. Large signs posted in town stating “Yes” versus “No, thanks”, heated debates on tv & in private. The Scottish people will answer the question about independence by vote on September 18th. I look forward to seeing the outcome & how Scotland will shape history for future generations.

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