I’m sitting in the railway station.
Got a ticket to my destination…….
Is there anything more desolate than a deserted, draughty railway platform at dawn? Waiting at Glasgow International Airport for 24 hours for the fog to lift on Benbecula must be the modern equivalent of wallowing in the slough of despond.
Although I am not a nervous flyer landing in dense fog in a small plane on an island airstrip left me wondering whether I was going to experience my final rite of passage. Would purgatory be equivalent to sitting in an airport departure lounge?
I had returned to find that summer had fled, the season had changed and the islands were suffused with autumn magic. The north wind whipped my hair and restored the colour to my cheeks. The rain washed away my world-weariness and the skeins of migrating geese lifted the burden of cares from my shoulders. At last I was home.
According to Eugene O’Neill “obsessed by a fairy tale we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace”. Going home to the island is like opening that magic door.