Scotland in the Spring

Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
~ from Psalm 37

On St. Patrick’s day just ten months ago I wrote

It is a dream of mine to see Iona some day,
to stand on these grounds
and to thank God for his faithful servants.

I don’t know how to write the next words….
My husband and I are going to Scotland next spring.

Edinburgh Castle

We’ve been given a gift of a trip to the
destination of our choosing.
Reservations have been made.

Why Scotland?

Scotland sings to me.

I can only blame the books.
They – I couldn’t say which ones specifically –
breathed into my soul a love
for all things Scottish,
a yearning to see the rugged Highlands,
a kinship with a people.

St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

So I’m starting the journey of planning.
Experienced travelers tell me
this can be as fun as the trip itself.

Of course, I’m planning where to go.
But right now I’m planning what to read before we leave.

My pile of books includes the Life of St. Columba,
Jane Porter’s Scottish Chiefs
Scottish Heroes, Tales of Covenanters
Burns’ poems
George MacDonald
John Muir
John Buchan and O. Douglas.

Any suggestions out there?

Rise, Caledonia, let your voices ring

In this Highland Cathedral of our God and King.

Whom, joy and liberty, to all, will bring.

Come; let your heart, with love and courage, sing

19 thoughts on “Scotland in the Spring

    The small bit i got to see of Scotland on a trip in 1990 just made me want to see more–it is a beautiful and amazing place! There are still bright images in my head from that time– Oh, enjoy the planning, and enjoy the trip! i’m so happy for you–
    i get to go spend time with my daughter in England SOON as she’s having baby number 3 at the beginning of November. There’s just such a different feeling to a place with so many years of history–and the stone and brick of the buildings. YOU’RE GONNA LOVE IT!

  2. I am so thrilled for you, Carol!  And there is no one I can think of who will enjoy it as much as you.  I know that your research will be every bit as much as enjoyable as the trip itself.  I look forward to hearing every bit of it – the research, the planning and the trip itself.

  3. You know, of course, that I will be living vicariously through you? I don’t suppose you could take a little jaunt over to Ireland as well? πŸ™‚
    I don’t have any reading suggestions, but if you have Netflix, I highly recommend Monarch of the Glen. Wonderful, wonderful series.

  4. I fell in love with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.  They are not what one would call literature, but they are addictive.  The series is kind of a time travel thing, which I am definately not into, but it gives her characters some unique perspectives.  The books are not science fictiony at all.  The first book, maybe called Outlander, takes place mostly in Scotland, in the early 1700s.  The author uses lots of the native tongue, and I tried a couple of words on a real live Scot, and he knew what I was talking about.  In the later books, the characters end up moving to the new world.
    I love to travel, so enjoy yourself for me.

  5. Oh, Carol!  I LOVE Scotland and have been trying to get back FOREVER.  If it calls you, you will definitely love it too.  I love all things Scottish too.  Lets see… definitely read The Bruce Trilogy by Nigel Tranter.  Also, watch several episodes of Hamish MacBeth – they’re a hoot and will give you some lovely scenery of the Highlands, the Peat Hills (watch out for those), and Lochs. Another one that isn’t exactly Scotish but still very sweet and travel’s through Scotland is Oliver’s Travels on DVD.   Besides, its such a delightful movie anyway.You should definitely go to the Isle of Skye… very beautiful with some nice hikes there.  We tried to get to some of the coastal towns but were stopped by treacherous roads and thick fog.  I would love to make a Pilgrimage to Iona… someday.  Ben Nevis is a nice area too.  Well… I should stop now.  I’m getting very green.  Enjoy planning your trip.

  6. Oooh!  Wow!  What an incredible gift.  Our family has lots of Scottish heritage–I would love to visit there someday.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy yourself immensely.  P.S.  I love Scottish Chiefs.

  7. Well, I’m just jealous .You should read the 4-volume Tales of a Scottish Grandfather by Sir Walter Scott, edited by George Grant. Listen to some Celtic Woman music for atmosphere (you can also get videos of their concerts at Netflix).

  8. How lovely!  My oldest went to Aerdrie one year, to help with a little church there.  The pastor took the helpers all over and gave them great lectures on Covenanter history…it actually changed his personality some!  I guess he would say that Scotland makes a lasting impression on you.
    The trip will be wonderful, but I think that the preperation is going to be just as nice!

  9. I am excited for you and can’t wait to hear all about your trip!  Your reading lists inspire me.  We watched the movie “Kristin Lavransdatter” the other day.  Have you seen it?  It only covers the first book and of course a movie could never convey the richness of the book, but the scenery is lovely and I loved hearing the language spoken.  We got it from Netflix.Blessings my friend,Sandy

  10. Oh, how good is our Lord. I am so happy for you. My daughter LOVED Edinburgh, though she is not nearly so full of light as she used to be. Enjoy!  I hope you don’t mind my adding this to your list of things to read. One of my favorites! blessings and love, m in sc
    Scots wha’ ha’e, Scots wha’ ha’eHear the voice of Scotland, Scots wha’ ha’eScots wha’ ha’e, Scots wha’ ha’eScreamin’ from the Highlands, Scots wha’ ha’eScots wha’ ha’e with Wallace bledScots wham Bruce af aften ledWelcome to yer gory bed or to a victoryNow’s the day, now’s the hourSee the front of battle lourSee approach Edwards powerChains and slaveryWhat can be a traitor knaveWhat can fill a coward’s graveWhat say base to be a slaveLet them turn and fleeScots wha’ ha’e, Scots wha’ ha’eHear the voice of Scotland, Scots wha’ ha’eScots wha’ ha’e, Scots wha’ ha’eScreamin’ from the Highlands, Scots wha’ ha’eIn a kilt with a Claymor at my sideDon’t ye make me take it out of it’s sheathI’ll stick it in yaIn a kilt with a Claymor at my sideClenched gauntlet ’round a black bottle neck gittin’ it in yaSo git it doon yaWha’ ha’e!Lay the proud usurpers lowTyrants fall in every foeLiberty’s in every blowLet us do or dieWha’ for Scotland’s king and lawFreedom’s sword will stronly drawFree ones fight free ones fallBut they will be freeScots wha’ ha’e, Scots wha’ ha’eHear the voice of Scotland, Scots wha’ ha’eScots wha’ ha’e, Scots wha’ ha’eScreamin’ from the Highlands, Scots wha’ ha’eScots wha’ ha’eScots! Wha’ ha’e!Scots wha’ ha’eScots! Wha’ ha’e!

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