I love travelling- it broadens my mind, and is a brilliant way to learn. It is great to be up here in Uist, and to spend time just being. It seems to be a land of picturesque stone causeways connecting different islands, and amazing colours and intricate patterns of kelp on the beaches.
The landscape is stunning, even in the mist and dreich, grey skies. There are machairs full of wild flowers, beaches of white sand and kelp, and wildlife galore. Today I saw a majestic white tailed eagle, otters and red deer, and seals lazing on rocks, and they were all amazing.
I have learned much of the history of the place, from archaeological finds ( Kilphedar Kate) to stories about crofting and the clearances. The uses for kelp, eg dried out and used for bedding, are so varied. Such a hard life, making a living from the landscape, land or sea.
Something quite unexpected has been arriving during a Gaelic summer school, – Ceolas. Listening to traditional Gaelic tunes and songs has been very moving, even though I haven’t always known what they are about! Such a rich heritage, snd so encouraging to see so many young people involved.
One of the things I have so appreciated is listening to young people. The young people coming to Ceolas, full of enthusiasm and talent, eager to learn. And other young people who just love the animals and landscape here, and are brilliant advocates to help others appreciate Uist. There has been a lyrical kindness in so many people’ s souls, it has been a pleasure to be here.
I also really appreciated Andrew my son and Lauren, who came to get me when my car broke down on the way to Mallaig. I then set off in a different car, which unbelievably even for me, also broke down ( just for the record it was nothing to do with my driving). And then he and Lauren drove me to Mallaig in the middle of the night- so I wouldn’t miss my ferry. A very stressful start, but he was a superhero!
For all those amazing young people who quietly help others out, and try to make the world a better place- a blessing from Numbers 6:
The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
Gracious God, sometimes we listen to the tv and our spirits are heavy because of all the difficult and negative news. Lord Jesus, enlarge our vision, and remind us of all the good in the world, the richness of different cultures, the wild beauty of island landscapes, the generosity and kindness of many, especially our young people. Holy spirit, may we appreciate them, and encourage them, and pray for them in the midst of the pressures of the world. Thankyou for all the ways You inspire us each day, Amen.