home: dachaigh

– Through glen and heuch, and hope and shaw, beneath the sunlicht or the moon –

Andrew Lang

We arrived under the gilded eye of the moon. “Let’s go down to the sea!” I said.

We trundled our suitcases to the bottom of our street and to the edge of the shore. The midnight wind whipped our skin, and the waves crashed in the dark beyond our sight. We stood and breathed in the tang of sea air. We were home.

The train from King’s Cross that first evening hurtled us through the cities and suburbs and fields, and finally, across the Scottish border until we reached Edinburgh. One short journey further, and we arrived at our new home minutes from the sea.

As a Scot, I lived in London for twenty years, balancing the swarm and hustle with walks in parks and heaths: listening to birdsong, naming leaves and flowers, absorbing the green of the grass and the leaves. There I could breathe. I was spellbound by the city: the river, the neon, the multi-cultural buzz, but I was only surviving day to day. I needed time to write, and to heal.

Here, in Scotland, my home, I walk kilometres every day along our coast. The wind stings and the mercury freezes. I see starfish and seals. I bring back seashells and stories warmed in my palm. I brush the sand and the chill from my clothes. I am alive.

This nature writing blog journeys with me as I continue to recover from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In Wild Soul Walks, I will explore how walking in and writing about the windswept raw of Scotland’s coasts, green spaces, countryside, and urban lungs can better mental health and improve well-being.

Walking in nature is therapy for the mind, body, and soul. I walk, and write, to heal.

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