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