When we came to look for a Scottish home in 2018, we had a possibility in mind in the village of Clachan. A native of Kansas, I admit I had dreams of finding a sea view. Nestled in the hills alongside its namesake burn, no sea view here, but a completely charming village that had such a ‘just right’ feeling. The house we viewed was historic and full of character but ultimately not big enough for our family of five. Tidy cottages along the winding lane, a notable church steeple rising above, and the sound of the burn under the bridge, all stayed in my mind over the intervening years. Somehow I knew I’d be back to sketch or paint here one day.
We did find our seaside home on Kintyre and on a sunny morning some three years later I returned to Clachan. Picturesque as I recalled, now festooned with flowers and bright autumn leaves, the village lane itself was deep in violet shade. Morning sun was just slanting over the hilltop above, piercing darts of amber light into the valley floor as I set up to paint.
No sooner than having a sketch and some paint on the brush, did the first inquisitive folk stop by. Annie and John, out on their walk, stopped by to say hello. They radiated genuine and kind interest. Several other pairs of jolly villagers came along, politely asking about my work and how I came to emigrate to Kintyre. Friendly folk throughout the morning, every one, made me with my American accent so welcome as if I belonged here too. When the light had shifted from that early morning magic, I packed up hoping I’d be able to finish a Scottish landscape worthy of such happy greetings.
A stranger in their midst, I was honoured to have been greeted as a new friend on that gorgeous autumn day. Moments of gratitude in our days are truly golden and worth recounting. Wishing many simple joys and the gift of ‘welcome’ in your heart to share in the season ahead!