All things counter, original, spare and strange in Khujand, Tajikistan

Skye, the second leg



a crofter’s cottage

Originally uploaded by akidabroad.

Just to feel complete, I guess I’ll tell you about the rest of my time on Skye. After the Feis an Eilein, I caught a bus into the Cullin hills to Sligachan. Here I planned to camp, but realizing that I only had enough cash either to camp or to pay for the bus to Portree, I caught the bus.

Portree is a lovely harbor town at the bottom of the Trotternish Peninsula, the northernmost wing on the “winged isle” as Skye is called. I stayed two nights in two different hostels there (which meant I never stayed under the same roof twice during my entire trip). During the day I took the bus around the rim of the Trotternish Peninsula hiking among the rock formations. It is a beautiful and rugged place, home to the last battle on the Isle of Skye, when the MacDonalds kicked the Macleods out of the peninsula.

After my second night in Portree I visited the Museum of Island Life. Pictured above is one of the thatched roof cottages that makes up the museum. It was actually a real crofter’s (small farmer working rented land) cottage that has been preserved. I signed my name in the guest book as The Great Seth Morgan I. I hope that impresses someone.

On the long journey back to Dundee that day, possibly the most wonderful part of the whole journey happened. I was riding shotgun in a mini-bus provided by the railroad because the track was out of service, when I looked up and saw a perfect rainbow stretching all the way to the ground on both sides, with every color standing out in sharp relief. It hung arched over the road, and it seemed like we would go straight under it soon, but as I stared intently at it the driver leaned over to me and said, “we’re not going to catch it, you know.”

This snapped me back to reality, but I still swear if he had left me off I could have run through the field to our right to where it touched the ground and danced in the carnival light. Perhaps then it would have taken me with it to all the rainstorms in the world, and all the quiet moments afterward.

But then again, perhaps what really happened was better. As we drove, the rainbow just stayed in front of us, going before like the pillar of cloud, a visible sign of God’s favor. That’s how I think of this summer. It’s as if God wanted to show me so much grace in such a short amount of time that in the future when the storms come and I begin to question His goodness, He’ll point me back to the rainbow summer as a talisman of His good will.

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2 responses

  1. amyk

    seth,
    have you read the George Macdonald story about the end of the rainbow? It’s called the Golden Key, I think you would like it.

    August 4, 2007 at 4:42 pm

  2. In an adventure as full of the past as your seemed to be, it was fitting that God would remind you of His ever present Grace and Providence. It brings to mind how Noah must have felt the first time he saw that rainbow that was to remind him (and all of his descendants) of God’s mercy and promise.

    August 30, 2007 at 12:40 am

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