I loved you from the moment I met you. The sky was late-winter grey and it was a kind of cold I’d never felt before – the kind that settles in your bones and makes every joint in your body move just a little slower than it should. But I walked out of Waverley and thought, “This. This is my place.”
I’m glad it didn’t rain on that trip. I’m glad that it was just overcast, because if I’d seen you in the rain I never would have left.
You’re best in the rain. You’re best when it’s sprinkling or drizzling or pouring or just plain dreich. You’re best when I’ve spent 45 minutes getting my hair just right and you start to rain five minutes into my half hour walk. You’re best when my world narrows to just the space under my umbrella and everything draws close.
Sunshine is nice, don’t get me wrong, and I miss it often – but sunshine here is different. It’s exhausting, if I’m being honest. Feeling like I have to be outside, like I should be soaking up all of the Vitamin D I need…well, it’s tough. It’s tough because I want to stay in, get work done, read, and you tempt me outside. And so I follow your lead, but I forget sunscreen. Or a blanket. Or anything else that I might need. I don’t know how to function in your sunshine.
But when it’s wet, we understand each other. It’s a grim understanding, sure. I am happier when it’s sunny, it’s true. But it’s the put-your-head-down-and-get-though-it-ness of things that I love. It’s what makes a pot of tea such a relief, or a bookstore such a safe place. This is a country to be inside and dream, or to be outside and toughen up. To realize that nothing could possibly stop you from doing what needs to be done, and to accept a haven wherever you find it.
So, it’s true, Scotland. I like you best in the rain.