8 July 2013,
Guess what I did today? ..Cut my hair. Well obviously I did not cut it, but I went into a nice little English Salon and had a sweet girl named Katie do it. She cut off the 3 inches I told her too and when I saw how little it was I told her to cut off a few more. My hair is much shorter than it was one day ago and it just feels so much better! I feel like I can climb on top of the world in an instant, that is how light I feel. But really, the first thing that I thought of after she cut it was, now I need to learn how to rock climb because I feel so quick and agile. Until I go in again and get it cut, I forget how wonderful it is to have such clean cut and healthy hair. After two months dragging myself around Europe, I was ready to freshen up. Thank you Katie for the hair, and thank you Kailey for taking my blog picture for the day.
For my travel writing class I was required to write two essays…so here they are!
THE DUN HILL HIKE
Could the grass be greener? Could the air be any sweeter? The hills blossom from the ground like flowers and the clouds twirl through the sky like a melodic ballet. Beauty is something that is felt here, not just seen. Traveling outside of the urban center of Edinburg was enlightening and enriching to all my senses. I never thought I would journey to a place where the air was so sweet I could taste it. I never dreamed I would experience such sensations. Every step I take on the unbeaten path is one more movement closer to the heart of the forest. Every moment brings a new surprise, something that I haven’t seen before. Purple heather dots the mountainside like little lilac fairies dancing through the grass. The lake sparkles like diamonds in the sunlight shining from so high above. I wish you could experience beauty such as this. My camera is close by so that at any given moment I can call on it to preserve the precious moments that pass by. Life through a lens does not replace life as viewed physically by the senses, but it can revive those physical observations. The sound of the birds chattering in the trees is mesmerizing as I continue to travel through the countryside. It is incredible to be on such an adventure in the middle of some of the greatest terrain in the world. Scotland is a gem, and I am not just talking about the majestic accents of the people. The real stunning is done in the landscapes that are available for all to enjoy. The past few hours have provided me with much of this joy as I have explored one of these landscapes for myself. Some simply call it hiking, but my kind of hiking is more than traveling through countryside or up a mountain. It is the exploration of new elements and of new ideas discovered through contact with nature. My most innovative thinking is done during times like this. As I battle with the rugged rocks in the dirt below my feet and argued with the branches that reach out from the roadsides, my mind searches for ways to overcome. This sounds too simple to teach a lesson, but it is the tiniest instances such as this that develop my patience. My eyes seek out the colors around me. The colors are so brilliant and vibrant that I can barely take them all in. The flowers tease me with shades of red, yellow, and purple and the shrubs scream out at me in bright green. I move continuously down the path carved into the ground from traveler after traveler trudging along its route. Reaching for my camera that hugs my side, I snap a picture because this is a moment I never want to be forgotten.
Sometimes my journey takes me to two places at the same time. This may seem impossible, but it is one hundred percent true. As I speak I am standing in the middle of a castle that seems to rise straight out of the volcano on which it sits but my mind is in a different place. My mind is back five-hundred years to when the fortress was home to one of Scotland’s most controversial figures, Queen Mary of Scots. Time itself is timeless. Time becomes history and history will always be a part of our lives, it will never go away. My mind travels miles and miles further and faster than do my feet, and it never runs out of energy. For this reason in my past ten steps I have traveled further than I ever thought was possible. My grandmother fourteenth generations back stood right where I am standing now. Traveling back to experience what her life was like is obviously the most logical thing on my mind. The streets were cobbled. The stone was blackening. The people were rushing. Today the streets are cobbled. Today the stone is blackening. Today the people are rushing. Life has not changed as much as it could have. My mind jumps back and forth between what is present and what WAS present. The Queen and her people lived her. They traveled here just as I do now. The sound of bagpipes in the distance and the average man wearing a kilt may be a addition to the scenery now than it was then, but I am sure they would have welcomed it just as I do now. Culture is incredible. It gives us a taste of what we do not have in our own lives and it poses to us the question whether we would like to have it in our lives. As my mind travels back in time I wonder whether I would like to live back then. Life was difficult. People had little say and they were constantly trying to live a life of survival. Devices such as the car and laptop would blow their minds. For heaven’s sake even a flashlight would have sent the royal court sprawling in chaos and confusion. Stones and bricks play a small role in the importance of the Edinburg Castle. The castle is a monument of power, of prestige and of beauty. I do not have to pick up a single foot to experience what this castle has to offer. It is a safe haven, a place where I can commune with those who came before me. It is a place where I can go to understand the life of my fourteenth great grandmother and relive in part what her life was like some five hundred years ago.
It is becoming harder and harder to find time to write everyday and take photos. As hard as it is I promise that I will continue to do it, even if it is only one sentence and one photo a day…or copying and pasting my assignments for my classes…oops!