At about this time of day, when everything's done and the house is shining
like a new pin, I like to take some time out for myself and rest up a bit
on the old Lazy Boy by the window. Relaxed, and my mind at ease, I
sometimes let my mind wander. I can hear the birds outside and a
neighbour's wee Sheltie yapping at the chipmunks. I hear the rain as it
trickles from the eaves, hear the swish of tires on wet tarmac as a car
rolls past, pulls into a driveway three doors down and I know that old
mister Miller still hasn't found work.
Far off in the distance I hear the sound of commerce on the highway,
people at work, sales reps, real estate agents, accountants, secretaries
and laymen. Down here, in the sleepy hollow end of my little street, I am
for the most part as heedless of the outside world as it is of me. Lulled
by the peace of it all, its not long 'till I'm in the highlands of
Scotland, back in the land of my ain folk.
Its a beautiful day as always, for it never rains on these occasions, nor
are the skies ever gloomy. A curlew circles high overhead, distressed at
my presence. He'll land shortly some distance from the nest, no doubt, and
fake a broken wing. The afternoon sun is warm on my face and the air is
heavy with the sweet scent of heather.
Through a gap in the dry-stone wall, a black headed ram keeps a watchful
eye on my every move. All around me, Gorse bushes are afire with their
distinctive yellow bloom and below, far below, a lone canoeist breaks the
calm, dark waters of Lock Ness.
The ruins of Urquhart castle rest on a point of the far shore, tour buses
in the parking lot. A school outing, no doubt, for even where I stand I
can hear the squeals of children at play. The children's uniform consists
of a blue jacket with a gray pleated skirt, white blouse. The tie is blue
and gray also. One child stands alone at the banks of the loch, hands at
her mouth as she yells to the distant canoeist, "Hey, mister. If ye cannae
find Nessie, ye'll huv tae phone directory inquiries!" I smiled at that,
warming to the child immediately, for I remember calling those very same
words when I was a girl.
Beyond the children, beyond the castle ruins, the heather peaked hills of
Scotland stretch as far as the eye can see, one rolling hind the other in
a distant blue haze.
I awaken then to the sound of a Schoolbus as it pulls up outside the
house, breakdrums squealing. Moments later, my son bids his friends a fond
farewell and dances up the driveway, a huge smile on his face. It's then I
realise that I must give myself a good shake and get on with life --
his life. I've heard that those big airplanes do go both ways.
Perhaps, one day, when my children have flown the nest, perhaps I might
just look into that.