Updated: Jun 16
I never thought Scottish were so much into literature, till my first visit of Edinburgh. I arrived in Waverley station, named after the very famous novel by Sir Walter Scott. His work and also he himself were so popular that after his death they rose up a Babylonian Monument, which straight away became the biggest monument ever built in honour of a writer. It’s usually the first thing you see when you get off a train. In the late fifties José Martí, the national hero of Cuba, overgrew him in la Havana. And people turned his verses into folk songs. Even today women of Cuba sing out loud You soy un hombre sincero, de donde crece la palma, y antes de morirme quiero, echar mis versos del alma… while doing laundry. Scots are different, though. They love in silence.
The two masters don’t argue who’s bigger. The city of Edinburgh sleeps in silence, and if you try enough, and if the clouds make a move to other parts of Scotland, you can even spot stars in the sky. You know there was a fox in your garden looking for prey in the morning. You can see its footprints in the wet ground, but you didn’t hear it. You were asleep, dreaming. Now you’re waking up into a harmonious morning. It’s nice and sunny, but chilly. You stir your porridge with a wooden spurtle, and you sprinkle it with sea salt. The seabirds are by your house, though you don’t live by the beach. They fly to Holyrood Park and Calton Hill, up to the rocky castle and back to remind you the omnipresence of the ocean. It wouldn’t be a day in Edinburgh without rain. A light shower washes away the footprints from the morning.
You decide to stay inside, snuggle in a woollen blanket, and read for the rest of the day. Stevenson, Burns or Scott? Sir Walter Scott and a glass of Scotch. You sit by the fireplace and read. The hailstorm doesn’t disturb the tranquility. It adds to the tranquility. Because people here coexist with nature. People are nature. Logs are slowly cracking in a red blaze and you are slowly falling in love with the story. And as many others, you admire and love in silence.