As I close my eyes, I start to see colors–red, blue, green, yellow–floating around me, streaming in black like flares of neurons bursting under pressure. I have my very own rainbow. I breathe in again, as the blackness opens up like stage curtains, readying me for my performance. I see the fields of Scotland I left years ago. I am between the borders, near MacCleran’s Loup in what can only be described as my birthright, the arms which wait to embrace me when I arrive. I walk, enveloped in green, and still my feet fall. I walk, until I see the pavers of my heart, down the lanes, I walk, watching the puffs of white climb higher and higher, then descend to the water, down below, in thin veins of rushing. The sheep gather there, unaffected by my movement, or maybe they don’t give a shit. They are sheep. My eyes turn away, to the horizon which greeted my ancestors from across the North Sea. I can almost see the castle rock from here, a small speck in the horizon, but mainly I see the blue-gray smoke of the Scottish sky, smoldering in its beauty, unaware.
I am dressed in a thick beige colored cable knit sweater, which hangs over my long wool plaid. My red curls billowing in the wind, as I fight with my Wellies. I’m walking the streets of Moffat and everyone knows my name. I hear them speak, saying hello, when’s the new book due out? They ask how my husband is and when was he returning to his lovely wife? But they know: his heart is here in Scotland and he returns post haste to my side. Did I see the article in the Daily Record about Scotland’s new daughter, they ask me, a small glint in their eye. J.K. has nothing on you. We laugh, and I wave goodbye, embarrassed by their unnecessary comparison, but grateful. If only…But they are my family. This is their support. I wish them well with a small wave. Besides, there is much to do. When I get closer to the house, I see my border collies and my Doberman pinscher standing at the fence, waiting for me. Not far behind them are my calico and Scottish fold. In the distance, I hear the bellows of my sheep.
Regardless of the day, there is gray and there is blue. A war of aesthetic in the atmosphere which tempts my moods. Today it was blue. Now it’s gray. Omniscient in its cognizance of the impression it makes upon us, as it dulls the world. A dusting of charcoal to hide the liveliness of the Scottish countryside. But it’s the gray that keeps me going. I can smell the freshly dewed grass and hay slowly souring in the fields, but I don’t mind. It is what reminds me that I am where I am supposed to be. I can see the window to my office in the attic, but no typing today. Today it is time to explore.
The dogs follow in my pack, silent but obedient. Their alpha. Their bitch. I look down at the mud and grass that has stuck to the toe of my boot. It rained, just like the day before and the day before, and the day before, which means the fog will roll in; I can smell its density in the air. It congests my lungs, pressing its heavy hand on my chest and clutching me until my breath is gone. I thought about taking my mare out for a ride, but the darkening of the clouds suggests that a storm is rolling in from the west. Glasgow must be drowning right now. Besides, the Rangers will be on Sky momentarily. There is football to watch, you know. I notice a fairy ring growing in the pasture, as the border collies round up the sheep. The storm is near; the sheep have to be herded into the barn. I lost too many in the last few years. The ram is unimpressed by the collies, but the lambs attempt to play, chasing my boy as he herds. I whistle and they obey. Black and white streak across the green, I turn to see the Range Rover pulling up the driveway.
I see him smile. He is tired; the dark beneath his bright blue eyes gives him away. He was gone for nearly a month this time. I run to him, hugging him tightly. The smell of musk and salt fill my passages. I have missed that smell. He whispers to me, I’m taking a break. I just want to stay here with you for a while. The clouds break, and I can feel the sun on my alabaster skin briefly, a small hint of fire before it cools. It is August, and winter is already sending his calling card. Yet it doesn’t matter. I am home. We look out at the fields that seem to go on forever behind us. The fog is rolling in.
Maybe tomorrow we’ll take the dogs to the Grey Mare’s Tail so they can investigate the small creatures which roam about in the tall grass, while we watch the skyline grow dark, as we plan for other things. Other tomorrows. He takes my hand, and we follow the dogs back to the house I don’t care about tomorrow. Or the other tomorrows. Not right now. I’m happy with today.
Until next time…
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