The Scottish Saltire

The Scottish Saltire

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My First Birthday In The Highlands

I had a fabulous birthday yesterday! Ian, my new housemate, took me for a cruise on Loch Ness in the afternoon. The loch is so beautiful and Ian has quickly become a very good friend. Then it was off to the Gellions to celebrate with more friends and bathe in the sounds of Schiehallion! Sandra, Laura and Hazel surprised me with flowers and a card and then Cath and Gringo arrived bearing another birthday card, a lovely bottle of Australian wine and a can of Guinness (which made me laugh). The evening flowed with Happy Birthday wishes from everyone and I did my best to keep up with all the birthday drinks that came my way! At the height of the evening's celebrations Kenny led the crowded pub in a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" after which he sang "Summer Walkers" for me. I love all the music that the band does but this song is very special to me. I've not heard Kenny sing it live since I got here and had asked him about a week and a half ago if he would sing it for my birthday. I wasn't sure if he would remember so I sent him a text yesterday afternoon to remind him and got one back saying he was just then rehearsing it for me. It was amazing! For almost 5 minutes the rest of the world just kind of disappeared as I stood about six feet away, in the middle of the dance floor, and lost myself in the haunting lyrics of the song and the sheer power and grace of Kenny's voice. When he finished I stepped up, put my hand on one of his cheeks, kissed the other one and whispered thank you. Then it was back to the rowdy celebrations!

My girls had been concerned about me spending my birthday alone in a new town. But that was before I arrived here and met all these wonderful people. I am amazed at how quickly I found my niche in this little corner of heaven. I feel so at home here and can't imagine ever living anywhere else. I went walking last Sunday with Sandra and Marie down the Caledonia Canal, which runs parallel to the River Ness. I was visually drinking in the scenery and felt my soul coming alive again after being dormant for what has seemed like a very long time. To the people who have grown up here The Highlands are just "home" but as a new immigrant I see things through a different lens. I look forward to the time when my life in Inverness becomes routine but I don't think I'll ever lose the feeling of wonder that, through all my travels, The Fates have led me to this beautiful place. I am come home.....

1 comment:

miriam said...

connie, I'm sorry I couldn't write before, but I was offline for weeks (!) thanks to german telekom.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you - late but from the heart. great to read how you enjoy scotland and start feeling like home there :-)