Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wisdom from an ancient castle...

You cannot plough a field...
by turning it over in your mind.
- Anon.

Two "fields of Forfar", seen from the trail around the Loch.
We came upon that Scottish saying, when we visited Glamis Castle yesterday afternoon. And early this morning, on our run "around the loch", the fields in the image above seemed to speak clearly to those words of wisdom. Although, both fields and people benefit from "fallow" times, it seems we must always make effort in order to grow and learn and be enriched by new experiences.

The next best thing to running in bare feet.
It takes a little effort at first, but worth every bit!
The effort may be as mundane as preparing a field and then tending to its growth until the time of harvest.

It may be something as simple as questioning "conventional" thought and risking to try something old - like running without enclosing the feet in manufactured cushioning, padding, and "stability control".

It may be building a rough, fortified, hunting lodge and, over 600 years, transforming it into a magical castle - not much "instant gratification" there! But in the long run, breathtaking beauty.

It seems that effort is always a big part of any adventurous endeavour...great or small. I must confess, there are many times when I struggle to make the required effort - staying "fallow" feels safer and I perceive there to be "comfort" there. But then I begin to feel that I've passed my "best before date" and know that effort must be made to remain fully alive.

Glamis Castle, the ancestral home of the Earls of Strathmore
and Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
Story has it that Shakespeare's Macbeth
murdered Duncan here - yikes!
Truly, the field doesn't change much when it's simply "turned over" in the mind. It's the willingness to make the effort that makes possible the Fall harvest.

Even making the effort to build a sand castle counts! :)



  1. Wonderful pictures...it looks so green and peaceful. Well I'm not into ploughing fields, not sure about the barefoot shoes but sandcastles....now those I can build! Must be time for a beach day soon!

  2. Duncan, did nobody tell you that is the manse!

  3. Hi L, we look forward to the same thing one day soon, we hear there's some great "beachfront" by the North Sea not very far away. Hmm...I wonder if we can find a kayak?

    Yes, David, we're in a great place now but will be moving to the castle in a day or so. Apparently William and Kate were visiting and the Earl's staff needed a few days to get it ready for us. It's a little smaller than we're used to in Canada but the 14,000 acres will feel nice and cosy. :)


  4. You really seem to be at home in your fingers running shoes. Has it stopped raining yet? I sure understand about ploughing fields. Too bad I could not apply that knowledge to my hanging baskets. Like the picture of your new home.

  5. Thanks for stopping by, J. Ah yes...the weather. It's actually pretty much the same as at home. Rains at night and the sun shines all day - just like Camelot! ;)

  6. Looks like great fun! Thanks for the farming tips. Have fun with the weather. Vancouver Island is finally starting to show some signs of summer. Everybody here is waiting for the start of game seven of the Stanley Cup. Vancouver has gone crazy.

    Mike S.

  7. Always nice to hear from home...and that you've finally got some summer! It's early in the morning here, and I just checked the score. Darn! Still, the Canucks came a long way! Thanks so much, Mike.