Lately, my mind has been stacking up lists of things I will miss and not miss about Scotland. I will not miss the pink and black mold that creeps up often, the separate taps for hot and cold water, or drying my towels for (literally) 9 hours. Nor will I miss nearly running into people around the stone wall corners. I’m undecided about whether or not I will miss having to vault my whole body against the (sticky) front door to open it, because having to explain something about your home makes it seem more yours, endeared.

But I will miss our garden, the squeaky birds that alight here, and the morning light piling over the walls. I will miss finding golfballs and seashells, feathers and pods in our soil.
I will miss the old men in tweed suits and hats who shuffle through the town holding their wives’ arms, the coffeeshops with wooden tables, the cobbled roads, the secret gardens. I will miss the late afternoon sun, because it is golden to the point of wanting to name a new colour after it.

I will miss the light skimming the top of our wall as the sound of waves diminishes in the afternoon, and the world hushes.

I’ll miss the crisp shadows on the stone canvases.

I will miss being in a university town, in many ways, where ideas (even if ridiculous) seem vital, and in which poetry isn’t a weird conversation topic. In that vein, StAnza, Scotland’s international poetry festival, will be held in town next week. I’ve guestblogged about it on the Visit St Andrews blog, and if you fancy a wee glance at my preview check out my article here.

Someday I will miss it, because I love it so much now. But now, I will keep loving it.

Today I was in much need of a jaunt about town without time bookends, and so I went to the bookshop, and just looked, walked up and down and revisited books I was considering. I decided to buy three different books and then changed my mind at least three times. But I ended up with a real novel, the first I’ve read in ages. Tomorrow I will sit on the couch with the lamp hovering over me, with a cup of magenta elderflower tea, and a book.

And all shall be well, in that calm instant with the light coming over the stone wall,
for now being luxuriated in, not missed.