On Saturday we sadly had to head back toward Edinburgh to catch our flight home. On the way we saw more sheep with their lambs, and perhaps some cattle from afar. There was an old viaduct, and some horses again. There were a lot of nice and cozy-looking houses as well. We saw little waterfalls trickling over the rocks, and forests of what I assume to be scots pine. Some of the snow had melted but not all, especially on the mountain tops.
It was cloudy and warmish outside, and we saw a lot of hikers out enjoying the day. I was a little bit jealous that I couldn’t stay and go for a long walk in the glen myself, but it was time to head back. Maybe someday I will go back and have more time to see the scenery, now that I understand traveling a little bit better. It will probably be several years at least until I get to go on a trip like this again, so it was bittersweet to be leaving.
Looking back on the trip, I am reminded of how in harping I’ve always been told to make the tune my own, meaning to play it in a unique way that is mine. I found that I was making Scotland my own in the same way- returning to some familiar places and adventuring to some new places, experiencing each thing in my own way. I got to go a little out of my comfort zone and explore, without doing anything that made me too uncertain or uncomfortable. Of course I could have planned it more perfectly, but I think the balance was pretty good.
I really enjoyed the time I got to spend alone especially. I had never left the country by myself, and this new experience was an important one for me. I had a chance to see and learn the perfect amount of things, and to learn how to be comfortable in my own company. I’m glad I had people to spend part of the time with though, and the festival to provide structure to much of the time I was there.
I think that a big part of how I made friends at the festival is because we were all playing the harp, so we all had something in common. That made me really think about why I play music and the purpose behind all of it. It was eye opening.
The festival itself had such great performers and teachers, and I am definitely inspired to improve my playing. I will be digesting all this information for a long time, and I’m sure it’ll come back out at some point when I least expect it.