A lot to be grateful for

We’ve got a lot to be grateful for

click photos once or twice to enlarge

I’ve been standing in the courtyard of the Royal Apartments once occupied by Mary Queen of Scots and her second husband (of three) Lord Darnley – prompted thereby to early-hours follow-up on their extraordinary story. Mary squeezed more into her 44 years than, well, more than most of us – Queen Consort of France, Queen of Scots, and an alleged would-be Queen of England. The weight of history here in Edinburgh sometimes roots me to the spot – and possessed already of the mind of a magpie, the synapses of my ‘hard drive’ flash, flicker, and sometimes overheat as I mentally flit from one point of fascination, horror, awe or delight to a stream of others.

Hours later I bought coffee at Starbucks! An early evening amble for groceries (via the University’s School of Law, as one does) is a real-life stepping into Dr Who’s Tardis and travelling through time. One moment you’re thinking of an assembly of surgeons in 1697 and the next you’re using a computer chip to pay for bread and milk. ‘We’ve got a lot to be grateful for’ proclaims the modern Festival Theatre – and I’m instantly reminded of the extent of my ignorance. There’s so much to be grateful for in Edinburgh that most of us ordinary mortals couldn’t begin to enumerate for what or how much.

One of many things I’m mulling over with friends is the extent to which happenstance and the choices we make, or have made for us, lead onwards to unfathomable heights and breadth and depth – and entirely unexpected life-consequences … ‘time like an ever-flowing stream …’ There is a very real sense in which, the more we learn to ‘go with the flow,’ the more we begin to see the unlimited possibilities of an ‘eternity’ – what John V Taylor described many years ago as ‘tomorrow’s bread, today.’

And now I’m listening to the mellifluous voice of Merlin Sheldrake reading from his ‘Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures’ whilst the images hereunder remind me of venerable history’s being juxtaposed with modern art; the collaborating hands of nature in earth and sea and sky and plant and flower, of humankind, of the animal world, of an extinct volcano, and (even) of fungi (!) making and remaking us all, moment by moment.

Aye. We’ve got a lot to be grateful for …

Academia . Jacobi . VI . Scotorum . Regis
Anno . Post . Christum . Natum . MDLXXXII . Instituta 
Annoque . MDCCLXXXIX . Renovari . Coepta 
Regnante . Georgio . III . Principe . Munificentissimo 
Urbis . Edinensis . Praefecto . Thoma . Elder 
Academiae . Primario . Gulielmo . Robertson . 
Architecto . Roberto . Adam

Edinburgh University, Founded 1582
in the Reign of King James VI of Scotland
(or: The Academy of King James VI of Scotland
Instituted in the Year 1582 After The Birth of Christ)
Restoration undertaken during the Reign of His Majesty 
King George III in 1789
Thomas Elder, Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh
Dr William Robertson, Academic Head (Principal)
Robert Adam, Architect

more at gardenstudiogram and at writinginlight

5 thoughts on “A lot to be grateful for

  1. My goodness, Simon! The history just oozes out of the stones! And speaking of history, your comments about Mary Queen of Scots brings to mind another British royal, Henry VIII. Have you ever read Margaret George’s ‘The Autobiography of Henry VIII, with Notes by His Fool Will Somers’? It’s a favorite of mine (in fact, mentioning it here leads me to believe I must re-read it! ☺️) If you haven’t had the pleasure and enjoy historical fiction, I highly recommend it. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the recommendation, Lori! 900 pages (!) I’ll very much look forward to reading – and Ms George’s work on Mary QofS looks great as well! Does your reading list grow ever longer and more ‘cosmopolitan’ too? 🙏😊x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know it’s quite a time, but so worth it, Simon! Ashamed to say I have not read her book on Mary, but now that you have mentioned it, I must rectify that oversight. And YES! My list grows longer by the day….🤭

        Liked by 1 person

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