Scotland’s northeast corner is a turbulence of tangible light and flitting weather. Thick bars of sunlight angle into the hills as heavy, gray clouds scud overhead, periodically emptying themselves in cold sprays of rain. Wind, that invisible puppet master, pulls strings in maddeningly contrary directions.
Here, in Ballater, a stone bridge arches over the River Dee. A man walks a cat on a leash below me as frigid shears peel off the Cairngorms and whistle through the valley. I feel I’ve bridged my own waters. Sarah walks next to me: jet-lagged, sleepy, running on fumes. But with me, like two river banks finally touching where the earth has grown strong.