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cows and st andrews

A Love Letter to Scotland

A few weeks ago, I was talking with a good friend who is also a trauma survivor and has grown to hate the ubiquity that is trigger warnings. My own feelings on such disclaimers are very ambivalent at the moment, but I guess all I’m trying to say is: this piece is going to go to some very dark places, but I promise we’ll come out the other end ok. Consider yourself warned.

Yesterday, I celebrated my 27th birthday, or rather, my last day of being 26, by walking along the Fife Coastal Path between St Andrews and Kingsbarns. The Coastal Path is a 117-mile stretch of trail that runs along the edge of Fife, roughly between Edinburgh and Dundee. It is my favorite thing about living here. I took my sister and brother-in-law there last July, and I remember my sister saying, “anywhere you live after this is going to be incredibly disappointing in comparison.” She is not wrong. I would run along the path in spring and summer, and I used to do eight to ten mile walks along it with a group of friends from my graduate program. We’d take the bus to our starting point and make our way along the coast to the next town. I’d bring scones, and we’d stop often to lay in the sun or watch dolphins and seals in the sea. After one trip, I badly Photoshopped some dolphins (and myself) into a group picture. Hilariously, some people on Facebook thought it was real.

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