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Poetry
Oh, Scotland, My Heart!
Written by Jeanette Simpson


Oh, Scotland!
How I long to walk your highlands and your glens,
To watch the flowers in your meadows wave in the breeze,
To hear the ocean waves noisily kiss the shores of your western isles,
To sift the sands of your beaches through my fingers,
To see the rainbows after your showers,
And to feel your history surround me.

You are not the land of my birth.
You are the land of my ancestors' birth.
My ancestors, who were involved in your struggles to become a nation,
Who were there in your shining hours and your darkest hours,
Who sacrificed for you and were shaped by your story
Then later left you for reasons I do not know,
But my innermost being knows there were tears at the parting.

As the ripples and tides of the ocean shape the sands and even the shorelines over time,
So did the experiences of my ancestors ripple through the generations and shape me.
The whispers and shouts of their patriotism have flowed through my blood since my brith.
And, I long to know your history, to fathom the riddles of your past.
I cannot read enough or learn enough about you.
I want to experience every facet of you so that I may better understand myself.

I must have inherited a homesickness gene, one that pines for you at times
And feels incomplete without my connection to you.
Your music soothes an empty corner of my heart
When I am aching to be on your sod.
My love for you permeates my soul.

No, you are not the land of my birth,
But you are the land of who I am.
You haunt me; your magic pulls me.
Oh, Scotland! You are my heart!

Pensive Thoughts on a Warm Summer’s Evening

Scotland, My Heart,
I have seen your highlands and your glens
and felt a recognition I did not expect.
I belong to the rocky areas of your highlands.
Why, I do not know, but I am at home there.
My heart is at home there.

I have walked on your beaches
and felt your breezes ruffle my hair.
How lovely is the beach on Mull,
looking across deep blue water to Oban on the mainland.
For hours I could sit there seeing on my left the Isle of Lismore,
the birthplace of Duncan, who was my ancestor.

Your wildflowers are pressed in the pages of my scrapbook,
A reminder to me of how they wave in the breath of your fresh, pure air.
I look at my photographs and try in my mind to transport myself back there,
But you are just out of reach.
I can't quite do it.
So I remain unsatisfied.
A sadness grips me.

I long to be back on your soil to stay
even though I have people and things here who need me.
What is this thing that pulls me, embeds itself in my soul?
What hold do you have on me and why?
I don't understand it.

You haunt me.
Your magic pulls me.
You are my dream come true.
I am incomplete when I'm away from you.
But why?
Oh, Scotland, My Heart.


Jeanette Simpson, July 2000