The rain-darkened streets of Edinburgh exhale the chill of the North Sea. Late April here looks a lot like its wintry brethren – March, January, October. There are umbrellas and hoods over the heads of passers-by, and over mine an invisible cloud of fatigue. The darkness of a trans-Atlantic flight has given way to Edinburgh’s tempered steel sky. Gusts swirl up the scent of soaked vegetation, like freshly-misted produce at the grocer’s. My dad walks quietly beside me as we move from Stockbridge to New Town to the Princes Street Gardens overlook. Georgian buildings, Gothic monuments, statues, and trees rear up in every direction. Every angle is a photo, another facet in the jewel that is Edinburgh waiting to catch the light.
The castle, high on its central eyrie, pulls me to the rail like an iron filing. A multicolored riot of flowers bursts beneath me, skeletal trees reach, and a statue of some distant son completes the picture. What more needs to be said? We are tired and wet, slightly drunk and overwhelmed, and with the dull ache for our better halves and homes. But flowers bloom in the cold. Just as ornate and delicate and beautiful and surprising as a snowflake in June. Or an idea that changes your life.