Over fifteen years ago, I moved to Japan for a year. Though I considered myself all grown up then, it was an unsettling move for a 20 year old. Different country. Different language. Lots of unknowns. No friends (yet). I spent a lot of time before I moved staring up at the clouds, reminding myself that even on the other side of the world, I would be sheltered by the same sky as my loved ones back home.
3 years later, I was on holiday at a beach in North Carolina with my family, preparing for a move to Scotland. Compared with Japan, it was less daunting, but even so, it was far away. An ocean would lie between me and the people who knew me best. I dug my toes into the damp sand and watched the clouds drift.
In between moving boxes and resettling in our wee home in the Scottish Borders, I’ve found myself gazing up, once again preparing for a departure to a new land. After the overwhelmingly sad and love-filled goodbye at OSP, I feel my emotions wandering slowly across my heart, gentle as clouds across a summer sky. I take Judy for a walk in large fields and let her run, while I lie back in the grass, feeling the whisper of breeze, or the tickle of small drops of rain on my face. Dark storm clouds hover on the horizon, a quiet rainbow peers through, and then the sun returns, painting the fields a brilliant gold. I allow myself to pray, doze, be.
This sky, I remind myself, it shelters us all.