The Inn on Skye

Beginnings come off the spool bright and thick: crimsons, deep turquoises, lemon yellows, greens like summer grass. Most threads dull in time, but some retain their vividness, and where they intersect others, brighten them. In some physical places, where people come and meet and go, threads shimmer.

The small inn and pub on Skye was such a place, where Scotland blue met American blue and crossed with many others: German green and British red and Polish white. They tangled. They mixed. They were musical.

I took fewest pictures here, but of all the places I went, it was by far the most memorable and significant to me. It was one of those places that can never be really captured in photos or words or even memories because it was so fully alive and vibrant. I fell in love there. With Skye. With the people who worked there. With the people who were visiting. With the locals. Over and over again, I tumbled.

And as if the people weren’t already enough to make my heart ache with joy, there was the sweetest dog who stood guard in the pub, and occasionally brought you a rock when he wanted to play.

{Can you believe I’m not even showing you the most gorgeous photos yet? We’ll get there.}

The Return

Forgive me, but my words haven’t returned to me entirely just yet. Since leaving Scotland, I’ve been in this strange state, making it difficult to determine if my time there was a dream or if this life I returned to is where I sleep.

Scotland was beautiful. Breath-taking. Magic. As I drove beyond the limits of Edinburgh, into the countryside, the buildings gave way to fields of heather. It draped the mountains in its purple, and in the afternoon, the sunlight caught it in such a way that I thought I would lose myself to the land right then.

And I did lose my heart there. Eleven days, over 2400 miles, and more than 1300 photographs later, I can tell you that it has changed me. It has left me with secrets and given me stories, all of which I will share with you in time.

But first, I still need to shake the tears from my eyes and recenter myself here.

Daydream: Loch Ness

She slipped out of the tiny bed & breakfast before the sun rose and wandered down to the loch. The fog was thick and once or twice, she mistook a tree for a phantom before she fully saw its form. The surface of the lake was like a smoky mirror and there were few sounds in the early morning: no cars yet, no one passing by. It was her and the loch, a word she repeated to herself because she loved the way it felt in her mouth. Sometime later, as the sun was beginning to rise, she heard something breaking the surface of the water, but she could not spin around fast enough to catch sight of what it might have been.

I’m currently lost somewhere in Scotland… See you next week, friends!

{photo by Dave Stokes, used under Creative Commons license}

Destination: Scotland

For eleven glorious days at the end of this summer — August 30th to September 10th to be exact, I will be wandering around the cities and rolling countryside of Scotland. It’s been a decade since I’ve been overseas, and this is the first proper vacation I’ve taken since my trip to Ireland ten years ago.

I need this, and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am. While I had hoped to have a friend hiking the West Highland Way with me, this trip will be a solo trek, and I’m really looking forward to it — meeting new people, seeing new places, falling in love with an incredible country in a thousand little ways.

That said, has anyone been to Scotland? Any recommendations? Places for me to go? Blogs for me to read? Maybe friends to introduce me to via email so I don’t feel so lost when I arrive?

{photograph by flavijus}

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Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.