Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Rose Castle

The Rose Castle

The day was brilliant for northern Scotland and my husband, Hugh Rose, and I were meandering around the arboretum at the Rose Castle near Inverness. We had wanted to go to the Castle, which had been turned into a Christian guesthouse, for several years.

Having some time before starting our yearlong studies at the International Society for Continuous Education in England, we decided to take a sojourn to the land where Hugh’s ancestors had arrived with the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D. We also wanted to visit the Findhorn community that we had been reading about while we were living in Ibiza, Spain.

The Castle was all that I imagined a Scottish castle would be like. Our room was historic, to say the least. The massive four-poster bed was hung with heavy curtains to keep out the damp chill that came off the bay and the sea. The sitting rooms and dining room were the epitome of graciousness and charm, even with the stern portraits of the Rose clan watching every move one made. The food was superb with luscious scones and jam, fish and eggs for breakfast and a delectable dinner in the evening. Lunch was on us but, of course, there was the, not to be missed, afternoon tea. This was the last castle still inhabited by the original clan.

This particular afternoon, Hugh and I were soaking in the beauty of the countryside. The huge and ancient trees towered over our dwarfed presences. Their impressive majesty brought our humanity to humility. As I walked, marveling at such grandeur, I came upon a small, insignificant shrub of a tree. Suddenly, the space opened up between us and was filled with an unimaginable love. The direct communication with this form of life, so different from my own, brought me to my knees. Gratitude for this experience of Oneness with all of life took my pride and turned it inside out. That such a connection could be felt and apprehended was quite beyond anything that I could have fathomed. I knew that it was reciprocal and that I was being shown that Presence is everywhere, in all that is.

This gift remains with me always as my love for the land deepens into a well of Grace.

Prema Rose

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