The last full day I was in Scotland, I took one last stroll through the Dalkeith estate park. It is so lovely having an 800-acre stretch of woods in your backyard. At this time the thistles are starting to blossom and the trees have fresh leaves. The path I walked on became familiar, and it felt good to just be there, enjoying the breadth and the depth.
About half way through I sat next to the river that runs past the palace. It is a small river, with a big roar. There was a perfect stump of ground that overlooked the water pushing past rocks. As I sat and listened to the roars I wondered: why are there rocks in rivers?
Before I came to the beautiful Dalkeith estate, I had a chat with God. I asked him to protect me and lead me on this trip. I also asked Him for lots of sunshine.
Over a year ago I saw a poster with a pretty palace and a very hairy cow. In that moment I had decided to go wherever that cow was. So, not too long later, I had signed up and anticipated to go to Scotland the summer of 2016. Soon after that, I kept running into Scotland: discovering that family members had been there, reading books with Edinburgh spontaneously being mentioned, and most importantly, learning that there is Scottish-Irish heritage in Appalachia.
While I have been in Scotland there has been so much conformation that it is exactly the place I needed to be. I have gotten free pots of tea, free tours, and a free hotel room. There was even 3 full weeks of wonderful sunshine with little rain. Most people I have met have been so kind and have given me the courage to go anywhere in the world. Be kind and have courage, Cinderella says.
I have made friends and have had good conversations with all sorts of people. I took a scone class and now have a recipe to add to my bed and breakfast menu. I have learned how to acclimate to a new culture. My breath has been taken away by stunning mountains and green pastures. God has really been with me this whole time. I can feel Him even more.
Now I am sitting in an airport, headed back to my old Kentucky home.
While I will miss Scotland and would love to stay here a bit longer (or forever) I know it is now time for me to go home. Right now home is where I am supposed to be and I am glad to be there.Just as the rocks are supposed to be in rivers, I was supposed to be in Scotland these past three weeks. It is such an incredible feeling being right where God wants you.
I will hold this experience close and think about it from time to time. I will use the lessons I have learned and apply the culture similarities to Appalachia.Scotland sent me off with some typical Scottish weather: clouds and rain. But I loved it so much, maybe even more than the sunshine because that is Scotland.
Truly, it has been unforgettable, just as my home is unforgettable.