One time when I was traveling abroad in the beautiful, magical, country of Scotland, I had an epiphany. This was the trip that I set out, starting in London, with no other plan than to “head north.” I literally had only booked a hostel in London and from then on was planning to create the journey as I went along. It worked out, at times. Upon arriving in Edinburgh, I stayed in a hostel called “castle hostel,” pretty original, but in its backyard stood the infamous Edinburgh castle—what a view. First thing, I put my stuff down, and climbed the hill to the top to see magnificent views of the city. I then signed up for a trip that would be one of the most memorable ones of my lifetime. It was through a company called McBackpackers. A group of about 20-30 would be traveling together via a big white bus with a local guide. His name: Neil Mcclenan. I’ll never forget the man. Over the next 3 days we toured the highlands of northern Scotland, paid a visit to Loch Ness, (unfortunately didn’t get a glimpse of the monster J), and continued on our way until we reached one of the most unique places I’ve ever visited: the Isle of Skye, off the northwest coast. As we drove across the bridge connecting the island to the mainland, I couldn’t help but feel like I was in a fairytale. From all the myths and fables Neil filled our minds with to all the beautiful sprawling and whimsical landscapes, this country brought my childlike essence- playful and fun loving- outta me. On top of that, our group was vibrant, eclectic from all over the world, and my best friend for the trip was a German man who also was quite silly. We spent the next 2 days on the island, exploring, hiking, discovering and allowing our minds to be transported in time and space (due to Neil’s amazing story telling abilities). On the final day, however, was when I felt my heart break open and in its place came this streaming energy of love, joy and compassion. As we drove on this old dirt road, circumscribing the girth of the Isle, and on the outskirts near the sea, I could see the sun shimmering its beams on the water, the cliffs delicately standing tall, and the waves crashing against their exterior. Neil began the story as all fairy tales begin: Once upon a time….
Once upon a time, there was a woman. She was beautiful, regal, with long black locks, and curves sensual and smooth. She wasn’t your typical woman. She was the Seal woman. She spent her time in the water as most seals do playing and frolicking in the waves, awaiting the opportunity for a mate to come embrace her. One night a man was walking on the shore, a farmer from a nearby town, a lonely one at that. She had decided to come out of the sea for the evening, leaving her seal coat delicately placed on the shore as she walked naked in the dimness of the moonlight. As she walked, she spotted a man, far off, but rapidly approaching. Curiously, she began to walk nearer and nearer until they met, face to face, man and woman, the masculine meets the feminine. In that first meeting, they felt the connection. It was undeniable. The woman made the choice to carry on with the man, and leave her seal coat behind. She would try out being a human for the first time in her life. Eventually, they wedded and had children. At first she was happy but later she felt deep sorrow, like something profound was missing from her Soul. The emptiness wore her away. She stopped sleeping, and eating, and would spend her days indoors, without ever embracing the beauty of the sun. As time passed, her children grew into adults and left to start their own lives. However, she still felt empty. Her husband knew she was missing a part of her she had left on the beach that night so long ago the first time they met. It was the other part of her- the part that felt at Home, in the sea, wild and free. Knowingly, her husband suggested that she go back to that place- in the sea- and return home to her true nature within. He let her go with the hope one day she’d return. Years went by and he saw no sign of her. He frequented the beach every full moon anticipating her arrival, but eventually, he gave up expecting to see her. One night, the moon was bright, and the waves were sparkling, the old farmer was feebly walking along the shore when suddenly he saw a woman. He knew it was her. As they walked towards each other, his heart filled with love, and life, he felt alive again for the first time since she had left. They united that night, and from that point forward, they stayed together, he, the farmer, and she his beloved and beautiful Seal Woman.
Upon hearing that story that day, my heart was so filled and my mind so aloof in my own imaginary world, I felt a sense of love like no other and gratitude for the incredible journey I had been on, and would continue to be on, for well into the later chapters of my life.