AN EXPANSE OF STARDUST
The clarity with which you hear and feel time quickly flowing by without you, leaving you to drown in a lake of despair and anxiety, is a sign telling you it is time to hit that emergency 'stop time' button which may take many forms: locking yourself indoors for a day; speaking to and seeing no one for more than hour; annual leave request forms; a call to school/work saying you're ill, for example. The button I saw late last month shape-shifted into a google search here and click-click there resulting in me booking a 3-day getaway to a truly wonderful city.
Early on a Sunday morning, I lugged my too-heavy bags onto the coach that was to drop me off in the beautiful city of Edinburgh 5 hours later. It was incredibly easy to find my way to my hotel through a massive crowd of people who appeared to be more enamoured with the city than I was which was proof enough that my emergency button definitely had my best interests at heart. Once I shed my ridiculously hefty bag and too-warm-for-the-sunny afternoon coat, I threw my camera, phone, purse and the free map of the city given to me by the concierge into my favourite tote bag of the moment and headed out in search of food and hopefully, peace.
Having grown up in Scotland, there is one family tradition of sorts I couldn't help but continue: never will you be disappointed with a battered sausage and a portion chips covered in vinegar & salt from a proper Chippy and Scotland has no shortage of those. My goodness! I did have enough restraint to devour it after I climbed up the Calton Hill to appreciate the sun-kissed views it had to offer mind you. Once I got back to my hotel room, ate my much deserved scrumptious dinner whilst watching Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ("when in Scotland" and all that) and had my shower, I was out like a light. It was by far the best Sunday of the year for me... so far.
Monday was my day to explore what the city had to offer. And along with the beautiful scenery and iconic spots, Edinburgh decided to serve me a dose of rain as well. But it's cool, it didn't ruin the day at all. I skidded through Old Town, tripped over a great cafe where I was served the best sausage and bacon barm I've ever had gaining enough fuel to poke my head in the National Museum of Scotland after swanning off to Arthur's Seat (no, no I did not make it to the top as the angle of elevation of the paths to it were a bit too daring for me on a rainy day) and taking an obligatory photo of The Elephant Cafe (a.k.a the spot J.K. Rowling wrote most of the HP books).
I spent over an hour navigating my way through the big and small nuggets of wisdom and wonder within the National Museum of Scotland, taking as many pictures as I could - I did not even see all of it. My favourite area was definitely 'Earth in Space'. I was like a child again as I read how us earthlings planned to track time & improved our methods as it flew by day-by-day, night-by-night; I watched an enchanting 10 minute video explaining how we are all made up of stardust and I instantly felt very small but utterly full of magic. My mind was blown. In those handful of minutes, the world in which I was suffocating became one that was now squeezing me out of the tiny hole I'd stuffed myself into to see the shear vastness of its terrain that I am yet to make trails in.