Scotland was swept by gales over 70 miles per hour on Monday. I was at the park with my two nieces, Amy, Jane, her husband Graham and three children Daniel nearly 3, his baby sister Kirsten, and their two year old cousin Ethan. On the way to the Park I was nervous about these little kids running along the pavement. The road is not busy. Then I remembered when my own kids were this age we lived in Sydney Australia. One day I took Chris to his Happy Rainbow Kindergarten, as I was helping Shona out of the car I watched in horror as my small boy run across the road in front of a car. Fortunately this incident did not end in disaster but the memory lingers in my cells. Now I know that children don’t learn road sense until they are eight.
The wind howled through the 30 metre trees and I hoped they would not crash down on top of us. We stayed on the swings away from the trees. The rain chased us home. Graham, Jane and Ethan left for Edinburgh. We heard later that both the Tay Bridge and Forth Bridge were closed due to winds of 108 miles per hour.
That evening when Daniel and Kirsten were asleep I walked to the park, under blue skies and white clouds a big giant of a tree, lay on its side, branches spread out over the grass, roots in the air. I walked along a trail that was once a railway line, the silver birch trees shook violently as the wind continued its temper tantrum.
On Friday, the day after I arrived here from Canada, Clive and I walked around Edinburgh, under the tall arches of the trees in the Meadows. Past the University Library where we had both studied four decades ago. We mingled with the tourist chatting in French, German, Italian and Croatian on the castle esplanade. Strode down the mound past the stone columns of the art gallery, through Princes Street gardens to the restaurant under the crypt. I wondered what tales the curved stone roof could tell, what skeletons had been stored here in years gone by now filled with people eating soup, coffee, and cake.
Many things have changed since I was a girl growing up in Edinburgh. Now the streets are spotless, the food international and the shoppers multicultural. Back then the God of my father was a wrathful old man sitting on a cloud and now my Goddess is within and I love her fiercely.