Good gods Terry, I showed this to my Hebridean husband and he gawped at me, a Lallans lass from near Stirling and said: but this is “Scotland”! And it is. It is exactly the cold and damp and dreich that seeps into bones and leaves you cooped up and stifling by fires and longing for air, and then chilled and dampened again when you find it. It is Samhain when the veil thins and we think of our ancestors and loved ones and are for that one night, connected. It is that relief that, past the Equinox, the day length outstrips the night and the hope that maybe the weather will turn and one day you look round and somehow, it is Spring. It’s those longed for warm summer days, trips to lochs with picnics and sitting there when the sun dips after midnight, wrapped in blankets round a fire and watching the bats overhead. And then seeing the fields again turn gold, molten with wheat and long shadows around the haybales. You will miss, this time, Yule, that exhalation and teary relief that the Sun did rise (at about 9am!) and from now, the day light will grow in strength. You will miss Hogmanay, when we remember and cast off and bring on the fresh mantle of the new.
But – you will come back. By the Vernal Equinox? And it will all be yours to find and enjoy again. I hope you welcome it with arms as wide as Scotland welcomes you again. You may be away but there will always be a home for you here.