“Summer Sun”, by Robert Louis Stevenson

This cute poem by Scottish poet, Robert Louis Stevenson, was published in his collection of poetry for children, called “A Child’s Garden of Verses.” Enjoy and have a great rest of the week!


 

“Summer Sun”, by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy’s inmost nook.

Above the hills, along with the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2020!

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers! Whether you are celebrating the day with that special someone, sharing the love with a cherished friend or family member, or by doing something nice for yourself, I hope it’s a very happy one! Here’s a little ooh la la for you on this day of love, brought to you by the master of love, Scottish poet Robert Burns.

From “Oh Were My Love Yon Lilac Fair” by Robert Burns

O gin my love were yon red rose,
That grows upon the castle wa’;
And I myself a drap o’ dew,
Into her bonie breast to fa’!
O there, beyond expression blest,
I’d feast on beauty a’ the night;
Seal’d on her silk-saft faulds to rest,
Till fley’d awa by Phoebus’ light!

Roses climbing up a stone castle wall.

xo,

Happy Burns Night 2020

If you live in Scotland, are of proud Scottish ancestry, or just love the Scottish people and culture, chances are that tonight you will be celebrating Burns Night. Every year, on January 25, people from Scotland to the Americas to Australia and beyond come together to commemorate the life and works of Scotland’s beloved poet, Robert Burns. It is an evening of merriment, good food, and good drink.

Sadly, Mr. C and I have to postpone our celebration this year. Poor ol’ Mr. C is ill, and I’m pretty sure haggis is the last food on his mind. So, in lieu of our traditional festivities, I am instead spending part of my day enjoying The Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns, a wonderful publication by Waverly Books. With a glass of the good stuff, of course. Not altogether a bad way to spend an afternoon.

If you are celebrating Burns Night tonight, have fun, be safe, and eat a bite of haggis for me.

A glass of Scotch on a book of poems and songs by Robert Burns.

Slàinte mhath!

“A Prayer for Christmas Eve” by Robert Louis Stevenson

Dear Friends,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support of my blog this past year. Our interactions on here have meant so much. I will end this year with a Christmas Eve prayer by the wonderful Robert Louis Stevenson. Have a very merry Christmas, and I’ll see you all again in January!

A Prayer for Christmas Eve, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts. May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

xo,

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”-Robert Frost

On this shortest and darkest day of the year, I want to share with you these lovely words penned by poet Robert Frost.

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Happy Winter solstice, friends.  Blessings to you on this first winter’s night.

xo,

P.S. For my friends in the Southern Hemisphere, happy summer solstice to you!

“The Fall of the Leaf” by Robert Burns

“The Fall of the Leaf” by Robert Burns

The lazy mist hangs from the brow of the hill, 
Concealing the course of the dark-winding rill; 
How languid the scenes, late so sprightly, appear! 
As Autumn to Winter resigns the pale year. 

The forests are leafless, the meadows are brown, 
And all the gay foppery of summer is flown: 
Apart let me wander, apart let me muse, 
How quick Time is flying, how keen Fate pursues! 

How long I have liv’d-but how much liv’d in vain, 
How little of life’s scanty span may remain, 
What aspects old Time in his progress has worn, 
What ties cruel Fate, in my bosom has torn. 

How foolish, or worse, till our summit is gain’d! 
And downward, how weaken’d, how darken’d, how pain’d! 
Life is not worth having with all it can give- 
For something beyond it poor man sure must live. 

Wishing you a restful Sunday and a happy week ahead.

A Conversation With Author Cristine Eastin

Cover of the book Love Inherited by Cristine Eastin.Hi there, friends.  I have something fun and a little different for you today.  Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with talented fiction author Cristine Eastin who, like me, has a deep and profound love for Scotland.  Her most recent novel, Love Inherited, is set in the Scottish Highlands.  Although relatively new on the literary stage, Cristine is a skilled and creative storyteller.  She describes herself as an “author of contemporary fiction spiced with romance, faith, and hope.”  I am so delighted to introduce her to you today!  So without further adieu…

Wendy:  Welcome, Cris.  Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me.

Cristine Eastin:  Thanks so much for the privilege of getting to do this!

Wendy:  It’s my pleasure.  Let’s just jump right in, shall we?

 

Wendy:  What was the inspiration behind Love Inherited?

Cristine Eastin:  Hmm…a gorgeous American woman inherits a huge Highland estate and tons of money and gets the drop-dead gorgeous laird…I didn’t have to go very subconscious to get to…wouldn’t that be fun?  But seriously, having been an American young woman transplanted to England for two years, I know the outlander experience.  And I wanted to write a story that, when the reader came to the end, would count for something.  So I gave the main characters deep wounding or hurts they had to struggle with.


Wendy:  The story of Love Inherited takes place in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland. Why did you choose this location as the setting for your book?

Cristine Eastin:  Because I love, love, love Scotland.  It’s where I’d love to live if they didn’t drive on the left.  Living there in my writer’s head was second best.  Having made eight trips to Scotland, I know it fairly well and I thought I could convey the setting to the reader.

The actual location of Love Inherited, Fionnloch, is a fictionalized Gairloch in Wester Ross in the northwest Highlands.  My husband and I stayed at Shieldaig Lodge a few years ago and I was so captivated by the area that I set my book there.

 

Shieldaig Lodge in Gairloch, Wester Ross, Scotland.
Shieldaig Lodge, Gairloch, Wester Ross…inspiration for Craggan Mhor in Love Inherited. When we stayed here in 2014, it was still operating as a hunting lodge and was all cozy and homey. (It’s since been done up.) -Cristine

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A Silent Eloquence-“The Bluebell” by Anne Bronte

One of my heart’s desires on our recent trip to Scotland was to find a bluebell wood. I worried that we might have been too late, but was absolutely delighted to see them still in bloom. These photos were taken in a wood next to Boleskine Burial Ground on Loch Ness.

It’s the little things.

A field of bluebells in Scotland.

A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell,
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.

∼from “The Bluebell” by Anne Bronte

A field of bluebells in Scotland.