To the voice whispering you shouldn’t go:
If it’s up Dumyat Hill, towering in my backyard, go. It was sunny today, my paper could wait. And so I climbed, trekked through the mud. There’s something brilliant about being out of breath, standing near the edge, the world tucked below. Stretching miles before me, dotted with buildings, people the size of my pinky darting back and forth—was it rugby, football? Up there, I didn’t know. Up there, it maybe didn’t matter.
‘It’s windy up there,’ they say as they pass by, eyes wide vibrating with what I pinpoint as fear. The voice, whispering I shouldn’t go, doesn’t speak. It’s lovely up here. It couldn’t possibly be.
But it was. Beyond windy. It was unmovable. I picked up one foot, to nearly be knocked to my butt. I leaned forward into its power, arms stretched out as an eagle, and it held me there. It roared in my ears. My spit soared for at least 20 feet. I found myself praising God that He invented gravity.
But even then, with the wind screaming you shouldn’t go… Go.
Into St. Andrews.
Go to the sea and wonder. How far does it go? Squint into the sun, look at the ship on the horizon. Stare. In silence. Wonder, wander.
Climb out to the edge of the seaweed covered rocks, piercing into the sea. Riding the breath you hold in your lungs, the jittery prayer your foot won’t slip, but the thrilling pulse of its possibility sending life to your eyes.
Go to the graveyard and look for the oldest stone. 1657. Before the birth of my country. Look at the ruins of the cathedral. Imagine what it was like in its glory. Imagine people wandering here, before it all fell down—first through a storm, then through a fire, finally through the fists of religious rivalry. Wonder: how did it come to this?
Run. Not because it’s time for a workout. Not because someone is chasing you. With your friend beside you, just run. Up the cobblestone street, past the man looking at you with a questioning smirk. Laughing because you’re running. Laughing because you’re here. Because why should you say no when your friend asks you to run with her? Run because you can.
When it begins to pour, the wind directly in your face, laugh. The Old Course—the birthplace of golf—the shrine to your father and brother’s passion—rolling on beside you. I looked at it, of course. But the rain beat into my face, my glasses. And I laugh because this moment is ridiculous. I laugh because we are here. I laugh because why should I be mad that I am getting wet?
When it rains, go. Because you never know, maybe a dog will run up to you or you’ll make a new friend.
Maybe you’ll forget the weight you were carrying in your heart moments ago. Perhaps you’ll get two rainbows.
Or a cup of tea, and friends who share their lunch with you and don’t let you starve because you were too naïve to bring your own.Flowers between trees, in pots, on the hillside. Maybe you’ll taste Spring popping up from Winter’s bite.
Often I find myself reflecting on the past. Thinking about tomorrow. Yes, how dramatic, how cliché. But that’s me, a dreamer, a helpless romantic soul searching for the words to weave together who I was and what I will be into harmony. I don’t think that’s all bad. But I do think at times, it yanks me out of the present into a fantasy of what was, what could be.
And so I say, to that voice questioning whether to go…be silent.
I go. Here, in this moment, I exhale. I wander. I wonder. I am.
It’s my prayer that we never lose our wonder. That we never stop going.