There were two incidents in Scotland that bear documenting. They were both new for me, and quite outstanding. Both times, I needed to shake the sensation off as it became too much for me to handle, but both times, in retrospect, I wish with all my heart I could have held on for a time.
When we were making our plans for our second trip to the UK, this time to Scotland with a tiny bit of England, instead of our first trip to England with a tiny bit of Scotland. I was researching spooky, haunted, ghosty places since we were returning to Chillingham as well, another story for another day. I ran across Edinburgh's Greyfriars, and it sounded so delighful, they even have midnight haunted tours, which we don't do often, prefering to haunt along by ourselves. And for some reason, the resting place of Captain John Porteous struck my fancy. In 1736 the poor man was beaten, hung, tortured, lit on fire and hung again all by a mob who didn't like his removing the corpses of three villians after they had been hung in the marketplaces. A longer story than that, but in a nutshell, the man did not deserve any of it. Something struck me quite hard, and I knew I had to find him and pay tribute to his life, and apologize for his horrific death. Off we go. . .
It took us a bit to find Greyfriars cemetery, the GPS kept directing us to the Greyfriars Pub. Finally I notice an alley next door, lo and behold, there is a cemetery back there! And of course, you have to learn the story about the brave little dog, Bobby, really sad. Heck, I cry at Lassie. So there is the Wee Wicked Shop, a lovely gift shop at the cemetery entrance. Two tiny one inch statues of the dog, Bobby, leave with us, heaven knows why.
We are wandering through the cemetery, no John Porteous, so far. These stones are, well, intense. Decoration and artwork far and beyond anything you see in the states. Each enormous, lovely engraving beckons your attention. David is half a dozen stones down from me, my eyes wander to a modern stone at my feet and my heart stops. Captain John Porteous. I am just inches from stepping on his actual grave. Ah, that is why I bought the second little dog statue! I am to place it at his stone, and, for some reason, there is no doubt in my mind or my heart, he knows I have come just over five thousand miles to visit his grave site. I am, without a doubt, being watched. I stepped on his grave in order to place little Bobby in front of his stone, and am struck by this phenominal, overwhelming sensation. The best I can do is to say an electric current came up from the ground, through my feet and filled my entire existence, body and soul. I had both forearms parallel to the ground, bent at the elbows which were at my sides. I turned my hands palms up, looking at them like I expected lightning bolts to start shooting out of the ends of my fingers, and that's when I began to laugh. I will swear it sounded manical to me. David had noticed my, well, behaviour, and was staring, asking me if I was alright, I was too busy to answer let alone pay attention. Finally, I had to step off his grave, and everything just stopped. Clunk. Nothing. No residue except my trembling and slight laughter, wondering if I had totally lost it just then. I looked up at David with a small laugh, but my face must have been completely lit up like a childs. Carefully, slowly, cautiously, I placed one tentative foot back on his grave to finish placing the statue, and nothing. Not a peep. Not a sound, sensation, not a whisper, not a breeze. Nothing. The moment was over, but, I had done what I said I would do, I came to honor Captain John Porteous, and he knew it.
Fast forward a week. We have been to the Isle of Iona, I have sat on the grave of my 30th great grandfather, the King of Scotland. Very little in my life has been this emotionally heavy. We are at dinner at the Galloway Arms, a delightful inn in Crocketford. Typical dark wooden walls, classic, casual pub feel, and the best lasagna I have had in my life. I put my fork down, turn to David and start to pick up my Drambuie (gawd I love Scotland, everyone carries Drambuie!!) and the electricity hits again. This time, instead of feeling the trace from my feet, it is as if someone from behind me simply filled my body with another body that was full of tingling electricity. Like something out of the horror movies, someone had tried walking through me and got stuck. Again, my forearms are on the table, parallel to the ground, again I turn my palms up in amazement and start to laugh, maybe giggle. David is staring again, asking me if I am alright. I disregard his comment, I know I used a nano second of energy to think, "Not now! Don't you remember last week?" and then I was consumed with the sensation again. I know I am blowing it, I know I am going to start attracting attention from the other diners, but darn this is weird!!! I finally had to shake my arms, and succesfully, literally, shook off the energy that was making me laugh like a mad woman. The next night? Same place, same station, same meal, and it happened again. This time I had time to tell David, "Here we go again!" and I was able to control my laughter a tad, but still had to shake it all off before too long, it's far too intense to withstand for long!
Now? Two years later I still yearn to feel it again. I continue to pray to be allowed to have some understanding, as well. Hope springs eternal.