“We are the silver lining in any and every dark cloud we could ever find. There is no need to go looking for the light when you bring it with you.” – Tyler Knott Gregson
There is something to be said about death. Death can bring us to our knees, but it can also bring us new perspective about embracing every breath of life we have left. Late 2019 one of my very best friends lost someone in their family and made the journey from Australia to Scotland. I know this was a significant and difficult time in their lives so my youngest Mackenzie and I flew to Scotland to be with them and support them in whatever way was needed, and this would be my very first major trip away with my youngest daughter on my own. Little did I know how blessed I would feel at the end of this trip, and how bright the silver linings can be when you look for them among the clouds.
My friend K and her daughter C are friends I consider family, and are part of our “inner circle” – you know the tribe of people who are your greatest support, your soft place to land, the people who are there for all the important things and all the little things in between. Having Scotland just a short flight away meant that nothing could stop us being there to support them through such a tough time in their lives. Being able to see them again and spend time together was a bonus so to speak – in fact my friend K called it the “Silver Lining” of what was a very sad occasion. After saying goodbye to a very special person, we made plans to spend quality time seeing some of Scotland and enjoyed a couple of day trips.
Nothing could have prepared me for the breathtaking scenery of the Cairngorms and the journey to reach it. We set off and spent much of the journey talking and taking the odd picture of the beautiful scenery, the girls chatting in the back of the car bring warm memories of our life back in Australia. They missed each other as much as we did.
With a late start to the day it was time to stop for lunch at The Hairy Coo for a warm soup with thick white bread – this is a must do on the way in cold weather. The two girls played in snow that had fallen on the ground, we found the highest red telephone box, and we got the enjoy the alpine feel in the air.
We then went off in search of the Loch Ness Monster but it was past closing time in the information centre so I feel like it was off duty and not to be seen. The loch was beautiful though and incredibly vast – definitely somewhere I will revisit sometime. I can see why people want to visit Scotland, with so many beautiful places to see and history to explore – you need so much time to see it all.
My dream of experiencing Outlander became a reality with us visiting “Lallybroch”, Jamie’s sisters home which features heavily in some of the episodes. The actual site is Midhope House, built in the 1700’s, which has external access for a small fee, but the inside is derelict and entry prohibited. It didn’t stop us taking plenty of pictures outside and sitting to daydream about Jamie walking through the entrance archway.
We visited the Kelpies at sunset on the request of C because she loves them so much and really wanted Mackenzie to see them. We had just enough time to see them with the backdrop of a beautiful sunset, making them appear to be filled with fire. Stunning. The Kelpies are Celtic mythological eater spirits/beasts with shape-shifting abilities who are said to inhabit the lochs, being featured deep within the Scottish folklore.
It was lovely to see some of Scotland through my best friends eyes, and see what makes this country so beautiful and captivating. We miss them both every day, and although video chats will suffice, we look forward to the day we see them in person again. She was right, it really was a Silver Linings Road Trip, and our memories will stay with us forever and be as cherished as our friendship.