Life moves fast! I didn’t really understand how fast until change struck like a thunderbolt from the sky and I found myself on the road–and homeless. Oh, I had places to go and people with whom I could stay, but it’s a ghastly feeling when reality hits and you realize that everything you own is in the back of the UHaul truck barreling down the highway in front of you and a tie that has kept you bound and whole is severed for good. Or for ill, as the case may be. It is possible to go from secure to floundering in less time than it takes to catch your breath. It’s one of those moments when “just breathe” is out of the question because there’s no more oxygen left in the room, or in your body; when anger and pain are the fuel that ignites motion and breath is simply gone.
I’ve been looking for the silver lining to that dark cloud of disappointment. There isn’t one, or at least not one that I can see. The heaviness of loss is slowly leaving my body but the buoyancy of lightness and happiness is still hovering. I can feel it out there, waiting for me to lighten up. And I will. For now, I am content to explore the limits of yet another venue, to change what I can change, to carve out another comfy cave from which to think and write and ponder the meaning of life. It’ll come. I just have to remember how to breathe.
There’s a webcam at Eilean Donan Castle in Dornie, Scotland. My daughters and I had been checking in on the castle for quite some time during our trip preparation, watching the tide move in and out, keeping tabs on the weather and the wind. Anticipating contact with our families back home, we set a date and time for our own webcam appearance. At the appointed hour, we waved and smiled and laughed, letting our families know we were having a wonderful time. In return, we received texts with confirmation that they could see us, a happy moment for the little ones and their mamas.
When we got home eight days later, I found that my husband had, indeed, used my office computer to watch us at the castle. I’d set it up so that all he had to do was click on the link and the webcam feed would appear. I guess I forgot to tell him to exit out of the site because when I woke the mouse, there on the screen was a frozen image of the three of us gazing up at the castle. I got the strangest feeling as I called my daughters in to look at us. Time had frozen in that moment and although here we stood in my office, there we were in Scotland, happily anticipating another week of joy.
I couldn’t bring myself to close the page. As long as the image remained on the screen, some remnant of me still roamed the hills, the battlefields, the castles far away. I still felt connected by some magical link to a land that felt strangely more like home than any other place I’ve ever been. I used to think that Santa Fe was the place where my bare feet tingled happily with the most home-like vibration. In Scotland, however, even through heavy hiking boots, I could feel the magnetic pull that begged me to stay.
Thunderstorms swept through last night, littering the yard with palm fronds and pine needles, taking down limbs and knocking out power. The image is gone. I knew it before I opened my eyes in the dark, feeling the silence of the house around me. It’s strange how even from the depths of deepest sleep the body senses change. I sleep in pitch black with the white noise of a whirring fan drowning out the creaking noises of the house settling around me. Something had subtly shifted, something tangible but untrackable in the haze of sleep and dark silence. I felt it. I am fully home.
Today is a travel day. My posts at Cave Dweller might be a little spotty for the next couple of weeks as I tour the Highlands with my family but I’ll do my best to keep in touch. Unsocial tendencies aside, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know many of my readers over the past few weeks and I’m looking forward to a long, continuing friendship with all of you–from my cave to yours.
Have fun while I’m gone. Read a good book (you might find one you’ll like to the left), get some rest, leave me a comment about what’s going on in your world. To quote one of my favorite movies, “I’ll be back!”
Next stop: Glasgow!