Tuesday, January 31, 2017
The Isle of Lewis sand...under footsteps of forebears.
Although Scottish born, in Glasgow, I discovered this past year that my principle forebears were Irish and Scandinavian. That means that my ancestors could very well have stood in this very place of wind and waves...and sand.
The Vikings came from Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. The word, "Viking" comes from the Old Norse and means "a pirate raid". They migrated down and along these Outer (and Inner) Hebrides to Scotland and Ireland in the 9th Century - to raid, and to settle. They are still very present in both place names and in physical evidence.
It gave me goosebumps to be in this special place with Joan. It was a "thin" place" on the Isle of Lewis. Adopted as a new born in Scotland, by wonderfully loving parents, we moved to Canada when I was just three years old. I always felt like I "belonged", and could never imagine a more wonderful mum and dad. In later years, however, I did wonder about "where it all began", way back in time. Where were my roots?
Now that I know, there is a sense of having "a place in the universe", a firm connection to the planet, that we adoptees sometimes yearn to discover.
I brought back sufficient sand from this very beach, dried it over several days, and created a little "zen" sand garden in an oven dish. Using a camping fork, from Mountain Equipment Co-op in Canada, it's possible to create a new design in the sand several times a day, or whenever we pass by it.
It's a contemplative exercise. It brings peace and for me...a connection to a distant "family" who may have stepped on these same sands so very long ago.
In some ways, the "circle" has been closed, as every circle needs to be.
All the creativity that I can muster, however, can never begin to match the artistry of the wind, the tides, and the waves on that magnificent and remote Isle of Lewis.