“This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again.”
― Alexander McCall Smith
As the sun rises, I watch the city of Edinburgh slowly revealed… a dark foggy nothingness giving way to a thousand rooftops accented by a spire here and there, dark and unfocused at first, but gradually taking on shape, form, and color. Finally, the edge of the sun peeks over the horizon and dazzling light spills into and across the room, putting a sudden and audible end to muffled conversations.
The bride and groom touch, and she whispers something softly into his ear. Both turn to look out the open window. On the table beside them, a once-full bottle of fine malt, a dozen empty glasses, and a stone jug of spring water sit where they were last touched.
“Wow… Look at that!” from the kilted man wearing the splendid red uniform tunic.
I have no words to adequately describe the scene being painted below as the sun continues its steady, lazy morning stretch, revealing a hilltop here, a wisp of smoke from a chimney there, the ancient castle perched to our left, and the blue ocean in the distance bathed in sparkling orange light, accented with long black and grey, shadows reaching out to touch the land.
A profound calm embraces me, then a slight tremble washes over me, as I realize I am feeling what I can only describe as a spiritual connection to the land, its history, the people, and all the creatures who have long and ever inhabited the place.
For a moment, I know everything that has ever happened here, and I know also that the moment will soon be gone and I will be brought back to everything being the way it has always been…
…and it does.
The muffled conversations resume, and slowly, almost imperceptibly, people begin the small gestures and movements that signal preparation for departures to come.
I reflect on my unexpected fortune to have encountered this party as I walked through the hotel on the way to my room the night before…