From my Scottish Window…

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The view from my room

There is a series of dramas I can witness out my window here at Saint Andrews.

There is the drama of the fishing seagulls. 

This one makes me laugh. As if framed by the rust coloured shed in the foreground and the stretch of pure and brown land in the far background, I have a very nice view of the sea. To my eyes, slightly blurred in their perception by reading one too many books on one too many late nights, I can mainly see an impressionistic conglomeration of colours and movement. I see the vast grey blue of the ocean, streaked with the darker moving lines of waves. And then there are the little white specks: seagulls! I noticed them first after sitting at my window with tea for a while. I saw the specks hovering and soaring low over the water, as if looking for something. And then… in they went! And in place of the little white speck emerged a little white wave where the gull had submerged. After a few moments, up pops the triumphant gull, who then rests on the water for a while, exulting in his spoils. For some reason, this discovery tickled me greatly; what a humorous thing nature can be at times.

 

And then there is the drama of the wayfarers.

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I call them the wayfarers, but I’m really referring to the the bobbing heads that appear over the roof of the rust shed, and the voices that carry (unbeknownst to the speakers) up to my window. My house is right near the ruins of the cathedral and the sea in town, so many people pass on the roads surrounding my little spot. Oh the things I overhear! Mostly, I’m too distracted (and bound by my ethical opposition to eavesdropping) to listen to actual conversations, but you get the gist from the tone and rhythm of bobbing of the groups of people. There’s the young loves, walking along hand and hand, trying to decide if they should look at the sea or each other, not talking much. There’s the couple arguing emphatically about who knows what. There’s the rowdy heard of Freshers (freshman), on the prowl in search of mischief. There’s the lone stroller, wandering an unset path, and stopping at the apple tree (oh wait! That’s me!).

And then there is the drama of the cathedral.

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It is grander than you can imagine. I can see it out my kitchen window. Towers reaching to the heavens, arched windows staring out at the sea. It makes me a little sad to look at it, laying in waste. A shell of its former glory. No longer able to hold souls in its walls, and to host worship. I think of all the history I don’t know, and all the stories these ruined walls could tell. I wonder what will last of my story, and what will become a weary, ruined, chipping wall. What am I building with this short year? With this life of mine?

There are so many little views out my window, and they are all true at once. And they all teach me something. We all sit at a window in life, seeing many dramas play out before us. Sometimes I find I focus too much on one, beginning to believe the sad drama is all there is, or becoming obsessed with the lives I watch from my window, instead of the life I live within. I want to learn to turn my eyes, to look for the bigger picture. Never to deny pain or sadness, but also to allow myself to laugh at the diving seagulls, to smile at the blushing new lovers, to think on the lasting legacy of the strong cold cathedral. And when I have thought long enough, I’ll close my window and join the view.

What views lay outside your window?

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Saint Andrews at Night…

ps: I’m sorry I missed last weeks posting. I’ll be back to schedule now, and will post more updates next week.

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6 thoughts on “From my Scottish Window…

  1. Beautiful photos and words. The view out my window is a sunny, still, cool morning…with the promise of autumn in the air. Wisconsin is a glorious place in autumn time! I’m so anticipating it! 🙂

  2. Scotland sounds so beautiful! Thank you for the lovely post, and making such a vivid picture through creative use of words(thank you especially because I have to write a descriptive essay for school tomorrow–not that I’m gonna copy you or anything, I’m just thankful for the inspiration because now my imagination is more open so I can come up with my own ideas).
    The view outside my window is a cool, cloudy morning, with the trees confidently displaying their bright, peppy autumn colours amidst all the grey. I love good old fall. ❤

  3. What an astonishing thing – cathedral ruins from your kitchen window!

    Many years ago, I visited Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire, and like you, I felt a kind of sadness that one could only imagine its former glory – and the voices singing heavenward from within. My favourite ruins memory is of a Sunday morning at Harlech Castle (ruins) in Wales. It was very nearly deserted, but for a harpist playing the most ethereal music in the crisp air. Glorious!

    As for out my window… There is huge mock almond tree. All through spring and summer I delight in the coming and going of birds to it but the early morning air is beginning to chill and I imagine they are on their migration south. The chirping has ceased, and the flitting of tiny birds has stilled. For now, my pleasure is to notice autumn’s golden light burnishing the hanging seed pods a deep mahogany.

    PS My ninety-one year old Scottish mum, who left there (and became a missionary in the equatorial jungles of Papua New Guinea!) soon after WWII, still uses the expression “wee” for small things in need of care and protection e.g. “poor, wee thing”). I do hope you’ll take it with you when you leave.

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