In the moments of writing this post, there is a vicious wind blowing with the intermittent fast drumming of rain drops on the roof. The caravan (or camping house, as we refer to), on “stilts”, shakes from the bigger gusts and the rain sounds like falling on a very thin, almost precarious separation between us and the random elements. Elements that, a couple weeks ago, already toppled the wind turbine of our hosts, making it bite into the grass – as we sometimes refer to the front-line way to go, in Hungarian -, patiently waiting now for its resurrection.
Each step we take inside, sends a tremble to the whole…
All signs of temporariness and relative insecurity.
By now rain curtains sweep across our tin can windows, changing the route to my workday, from tree planting on an exposed hillside to indoor cottage remodeling. The reassurance to this premonition arrives in the form of text message from my employer. Flexibility-flexibility! And that is exactly how it should be: work with the weather, not against driving rain.
Yesterday was similar: I started on the reforestation project in the morning and switched to removing rubble from within thick stonewalls in the afternoon.
The Scottish days are steadily shortening, but they remain just as we have gotten to know them in the past three months since we arrived here: rapidly changing perhaps, but always fresh. Fresh! And dynamic. My breathing is never shallow here. Not even when the fog rolls in with the tide and runs the glens and moors over like an atmospheric tsunami. Frightening it may be perhaps, at first, but instead of crushing my spec self, I find it to be a cleansing, soothing cure for lungs and soul.
We are notified about a returning Indian summer in Hungary with sunshine and temperatures above 20, these November days – a quite atypical phenomenon in the lower altitude and latitude Hungary. In the same email, with a hint of cynicism driven by preconceptions about the Scottish gloom, we are wished to have similar sun break soon.
In a recent conversation I had with someone who had just returned from an Italian holiday trip, I asked if he had enjoyed it over there apart from the airport strike, he said: oh, yes, 24 degrees, he loves Italy, it’s not so miserable like here – and he nodded with despise to what felt as the general climate of the British Isles.
Again, a native being unappreciative of what nature has to offer at home. Haven’t you noticed the universality in this? Nearly everyone would rather be some place else and enjoy the (momentary) conditions considered (far) better there. These souls are in turmoil. There’s too much background noise and too little calm for them.
What these people don’t realize, however, is that they carry the cause of their demise inside themselves from the “here” (the home), all the way to “there” and back. The culprit is quite possibly not nature or whatever it has to offer in a locale, nestled reasonably within human endurance margins. The much more likely reason for their upheaval is a dissatisfaction of social dimensions: frustration from a frictious, fraying network of people, network they are also directly or indirectly participating in. And healing this, may justly feel overwhelming to many.
Can’t it be that the remedy to this human induced spiritual commotion lies right outside our front door and all it takes to access it is to access it? Stepping over the threshold, not letting it become a mental hurdle of Süskindian scale, facing that pigeon… and whatever else we might find behind the rain curtain. Step in joy – enjoy!
It may be getting dark by now, but let the crepuscular songs or vespertine hoots lure you out.
You’ll be thankful and a lot less miserable!