Virtual Vacation: Until We Meet Again

VVS WTTThis morning when we had our final writer’s group reading, Jackie Baritell read this poem as her contribution. I thought it captured many of the highlights of our trip and so I asked her permission to publish it here and on my blog. Here’s her piece:


Too full tonight.
Too full of sandwiches and orange juice
Of tea with milk and sugar, of scones and shortbread;
Too full of Spanish omelette
and vegetables from the garden.

Too full tonight.
Too full of raindrops on yellow flowers,
Of pink petals on the path and a giant Japanese maple;
Of hedgerows, a Scottie kidnapped by the Queen
and muskets fanned across a castle wall.

Too full tonight.
Too full of “wee bits” and “proper” words,
Of odd expressions and signs:
“Weak bridges,” homes “under offer;”
“Give way,” “lay-bys” and “caravans” for touring.
“Take away” foods and “No dog fouling.”

Too full tonight.
Too full of stepping in puddles on sacred grounds
and hearing the ancients rumble
beneath the stones,
Of imagining fairies dancing atop
protruding roots and mossy rocks.

Too full tonight.
Too full of old farm buildings and bunny sightings,
Of a ruddy faced bus driver, white hair with balding head
sharing history and laughter and kindness;
Of a white Mercedes caravan named Erin.

Too full tonight.
Too full of furry cows and fields of polka-dotting sheep.
Of brilliant grass-green farmland to the horizon
interrupted by towns in browns and greys,
Of Scotch Broom… and Scotch Broom… and Scotch Broom,
Of backwards drivers who think it’s okay to pass on the right.

Too full tonight.
Too full of stories by the fire from magical times
told by a dancing teller of tales, a giver of gifts,
Storyteller from a long line of bards,
a woman dressed by the forest.

Too full tonight.
Too full of days piled with memories.
Too full of children playing bagpipes,
in kilts and colors of a fertile heritage.
Of old folks dancing in Hootenany’s,
Of accordions and flutes and fiddles.

Too full tonight.
Too full of a neglected graveyard
with the bones of ten children beneath my feet,
Of walks in the woods behind Newbold House
And multilingual birdsongs filling the stillness.
Too full of gazing for half an hour at blue petals with deep purple veins
and fuzzy bees mating with the tiny red stamens.

Too full tonight.
Too full of cashmere and tartans in gift shops.
of a day pack carrying books and souvenirs,
Of an aching back that longs for
another massage from Heather.

Too full tonight.
Too full of young men waking a younger part of me:
The poet and the whiskey host,
So different and so appealing,
one to study with, the other to share poetry until dawn.

Too full tonight.
Too full of long days and short nights,
Of exhaustion and complaining muscles.
Too full of choices and decisions,
Yearnings and ideas.

Too full tonight.
Too full of new friends
I already love and want to keep.
Of their openness, their laughter, hugs and encouragement.
Of their words penetrating my soul.
Too full tonight of Scotland, this place, these people, this experience.

Too full tonight….or, maybe, just full enough.

–Jackie Baritell Newbold House
June 22, 2015 Forres, Scotland

Goodbye from Newbold House!

If you’d like to be part of one of the next Write, Travel, Transform adventures, you can come with me to Greece in May of 2016 or Bali in July of 2016.

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