I stood in the light. Two streams of water sang in descent as they splashed over moss-covered and pocked boulders. Trees and bushes and all manner of green life stretched high above me; chlorophyll pulsed in incandescent leaves. The tiny town of Rosemarkie with its ancient Pictish stone-filled Groam House lay only 20 minutes behind, and over the ridge the North Sea crashed and surged. But a pocket of warmth and stillness settled here at the Fairy Pool, the terminus of the Fairy Glen. I had trod the shade and sun-dappled paths through the lush forest, past still pools guarded by mallards, and up the sides of waterfalls.
I half expected a fairy floating over the pool as if this were Hyrule, my penchant for blurring the lines between reality and fantasy once more sliding to the fore. I leaned over the bridge railing without a single draft of air rifling my hair, though sentinel trees around the glen roared in defense of the wind. Perhaps the idea of the fairy is simply a totem, a symbol for the rejuvenating presence emanating from such naturally pure places. Time grew slippery, I grew slack-jawed. The previous four weeks exploring Scotland had been taxing, bereft of routine and calm, but an oath once sworn cannot be easily discarded. I pushed back from the view and rubbed my eyes. This journey would continue until my purpose had been illuminated.