Walking in Aberdeen, Scotlandthe dramatic

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Walking Aberdeen with Alison

In June of 2014, my daughter Elizabeth and I went on an absolutely incredible trip together visiting the Chinos in Aberdeen, Scotland, staying in Paris, France for a couple of days, and doing mission work in Migori, Kenya. I took a bazillion pictures and am writing about it all and you can read more posts from the trip here, if you’d like.

On the first morning after Elizabeth and I arrived in Scotland, she got hit hard with jet lag and was sleeping soundly. I however, was running on I CAN’T EVEN BELIEVE I’M IN SCOTLAND adrenaline. So I got up.

Alison, of course, was ready for a walk. We grabbed some snacks and a camera, and headed out so that I could see Aberdeen.

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We. Were. So! Excited! (yes, we are lying down in an actual road)

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Much of the route we took that day is the same walk that Taido & the younger Chinos do heading to school everyday. There are tons of paths that are just for walking, and I have to say, I was a little enchanted right away.

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walking in Aberdeen Scotland-12 walking in Aberdeen Scotland-10 It certainly helped that it was an unusually sunny, blue-sky morning.

walking in Aberdeen Scotland-4 We eventually meandered over to King’s College, which is where Taido goes to school. It’s OKAY, I guess. If you’re into manicured lawns and cobblestoned streets.

walking in Aberdeen Scotland-25 And, if you’re into old buildings and stuff. With, like CROWNS on top.

walking in Aberdeen Scotland-26 Whatever. Ivy, windows, yada yada yada.

walking in Aberdeen Scotland-24 No, of course it was gorgeous and I loved it. And then we found Taido’s office – he has that little window on the top left.

walking in Aberdeen Scotland-5 And then we totally went in because Taido was in Kenya and I could snoop around without him being there. HI TAIDO!

This is his desk.

walking in Aberdeen Scotland-7 And these are some of his nerdy theology books. I’ve known Taido since we were 12 so it’s okay for me to harass him publicly.

walking in Aberdeen Scotland-8 And this is one of Taido’s officemates, Kevin, who in the space of about 5 minutes was able to explain to me both what he is working on and what Taido is working on in ways that I could actually understand. AND then he began to talk about how wonderful it is to be in a place where you can really delve into what you love, turn it over and over in study and conversation with others who care just as deeply and are eager to engage with you about it. He said something like I can talk about it in my regular life, of course, but you always have to hold back, you know. You can tell, people are getting bored.

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And suddenly I was back at my first real gathering of artists as a young adult, being spoken to in a language that I sort of thought that only I heard. The way that woke up my soul is something I will never forget.

As generous as I’ve tried to be in my best moments, I don’t think I really understood any of the reasons my dear friend moved his dear family to Scotland, until I stood in his office that day. I know there’s more than that, I know there’s the work.

But still. Perhaps what I mean is that I am able to be really happy for him in a way that I wasn’t before. Those few minutes of conversation were such a gift.

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Eventually we came back out in the sunshine and walked a few more blocks til we came to the North Sea – freezing cold and gorgeous. After we were sufficiently dazzled by sun & water, we wandered our way back home.

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  1. I can’t get past “a little enchanted.” Is that like being “a little pregnant”?

    Yeah, I like the rest of the stuff you said, too – especially about the conversation with Taido’s office-mate – but I just love the “little enchanted” part. UNDERSTATEMENT?

    Also, every time I look at that picture of you and Alison lying on the road (and I’ve seen it several times now), I love it more. Just “a little” bit.

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