Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Royal Observatory: Edinburgh
July 6th 2012:
A day off work for a very tired, worn out, grumpy little person. Full time work, friends staying, sports, committee papers, life decisions and planning, association meetings, denitst appointments, tea and cake dates, shopping, cleaning. The list could go on of what I have been up to for the past few weeks that have made me so busy. Though you may look at that list and think it looks quite average, it has been quite stressful for me. And this day, 6th July, I realised why. It isn't often I will share these moments with people, as they are 'my' moments, but this one has made enough of an impact on my life in the past few days that I feel like sharing it is ok.

I had what can only be described as a twitchy day off. One of those days when you don't really know what to do with yourself, when you wake up in the morning with a list of possible things to do as long as your arm yet no inspiration or motivation to do a single thing off that list. I like lists. But on this day that list didn't really matter to me. It was drizzly outside and the wind was whistling through my living room window as I tried to sit still and read my book, with a cup of tea in hand. Sitting still isn't something I do well, but I try. This trying failed as I knew something wasn't right inside of me. What, though?

A few hours later after going to Sainsburys, cleaning the kitchen and hanging my washing I got in the car, turned the engine on and pressed play on the cd player. I drove. But where was I going? I had no idea. I had no plan, I had no aim, I had nowhere to go. I just needed to go.

15 minutes later I found myself up on Blackford Hill. It hadn't been many days since I was last there with my friend watching the sun set over this beautiful city. 

Sunset from Blackford Hill

"Hour after hour in this evening light
How long will we stay here tonight?
There's still a distant power in the daylight
But you can keep it for the morning.
And the shadows of the woods
We could hide from what we know
But as I understood
We were hiding from tomorrow"

So there I was standing on the top of this hill. It's not a big hill at all. Just a hill. But a hill with quite some view. To my left perfect rows of houses. In front of me stood the castle, high and majestic, with the water behind it. To my right Arthurs Seat towered above the city. Behind me the ski slope lit up the distant Pentland hills. But, most importantly, surrounding me there was air. Air that I could feel, air that I could breathe, air that I could join with. 
The weather creeping in over the city
The wind continued to blow as it had all day, and the rain splattered down on my head. It was cold up the hill. There was a man running, a woman walking two brown spaniels and a family of four racing back to the car before the rain poured down. The usual popularity of this hill was no more as the weather closed in around it. There I stayed. I stood. I listened. I watched. I knelt. I heard. I saw.

"And you can't keep life from moving on
So roll along till there's nowhere to go"

Life can move at quite some pace sometimes. That pace can be too fast for me to appreciate all that is happening. In the run up to me standing on this hill I had some great days and weeks, with the most amazing of friends I could ever ask for to keep me sane. Yet here I stood only just realising those joys, because I had the space to be 'me'.

"And my advice
It was to make something out of what it's worth
Make something out of what it's worth
In the end, what's more important?
To have toiled?
To have tried?
I'll let you decide"

 I am an introvert. That's it. That is what all of this is about. I am an introvert.

This is a fact anybody who knows me will know. As an introvert I get easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation, if you like. As an intorvert I require solitude and stillness. That is what has been missing lately. This hill made me remember this. I say remember because I knew all of this before, so it wasn't a realisation, it was a reminder. This is me still getting used to how to live in the city again after spending so much time on a remote Scottish island. My automatic reaction when over stressed and unable to concentrate was to get in my car and drive somewhere away from people. I ended up on the top of this hill, overlooking this city which I love so much, getting cold and wet, knelt on wet grass, and for the first time in weeks I was still. Not just physically still. Internally still. Content. Able to think. Able to feel alive. Able to connect with the God who is so much bigger than I am. Able to stretch my mind. Able to feel people close who are at a distance. Able to enjoy the stillness inside of me. 

With 'Be still and know that I am God' going around in my head I knelt there for quite some time, just breathing in the fresh air and taking all of the wind and rain and view in. Nature is such an amazing thing. Nature makes me alive. Really, trully alive. I love sitting in my flat, I love being in cafe's with a cuppa tea chatting, I love being busy. But if I don't take this time to be in nature, I am unable to enjoy all of that love. So, from now on, when I find myself getting stressed at life, I must just go and say hello to nature, take in the air and enjoy the elements for the freedom they give me. I did it before, I forgot recently how to do it, and just needed that one evening to nudge me in the right direction again.

This introvert needs to be an introvert and that is ok. That is who I am and that is what I will continue to be.

"In your love, my salvation lies"

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