DEAR LITTLE FRIEND --
It is Spring again and I am going away. I think you must have realized, of
late, that I am leaving you. You have been so pensive, so altogether
unlike your usual, carefree self. Your eyes have followed me about with a
sort of dumb reproach, and all my efforts to amuse you have failed so
miserably that I have ceased to try. So now we just avoid each other,
fortifying ourselves against the inevitable hour of farewell.
you could only understand why I am going -- but how should you, when I
hardly understand it myself. You, who ask nothing more of life than a warm
bed, food, security and my companionship -- how should you know of the
magic that leaps in my blood at the turn of the year, calling me away to
the blue hills and the heather?
Even now, you are telling yourself that I shall not really go. At the last
minute, you think, my resolve will fail me. When I have packed my rucksack
and tied on my heavy boots, I shall suddenly see you standing there, with
all your soul in your eyes, and my hard heart
will melt. . . .
If it would, little friend, I might be the more worthy of the great love
you bear me. But it will not. The mountains have put a spell on me, and
they are stronger than the two of us. Reproach me with ingratitude if you
will. Adjudge me faithless, irresponsible, even anti-social -- I have no
reply. The green hands of Spring are beckoning, and I will break faith --
and hearts, if I must -- to answer the call.
So, because of all this, I will say goodbye quite cheerfully, and forget
you, until the madness has worked out of my soul. Even if I wished, it,
could not be otherwise. And there, is no explanation, unless it be that
before I was born the Hill-People marked me for their own. . . .
Or perhaps I am just selfish. Though this, I know, you will not believe.
But all who know us both, Jeannie, will believe this:
That I, being "only human," will one day grow weary of adventuring, and
return to pick up the threads of our life where we left off.
That you, being "only a dog," will be still waiting.
Rain clouds over Loch Leven and Beinn a
Bheither, Ballachulish district