We started the week in Edinburgh. Saturday we were blessed to watch our oldest receive his doctorate. As we sat in the theater, saw the banner celebrating the 600th anniversary of St. Andrew’s University, watched the opening ceremony, and then were invited to stand and join in singing the Gaudeamus, in Latin, I was overwhelmed, and then surprised as I realized everyone around me was singing the Gaudeamus, in Latin. My old choir days kicked in and I was able to fake it pretty well, but really, who sings in Latin?
The bald man on the left, in the photo above, is my oldest son Jesse, just before he knelt to be tapped on the head, by what school tradition says is a scrap of John Knox’s drawers. It’s actually someone’s cap that has been used on graduates since the 1400’s. Now that’s a long held tradition. I wonder how they store and preserve that cap.
After all the graduates had knelt and been hooded, the choir sang beautifully in acapella, before the graduates filed out, to be led out to walk around St. Salvatore’s Quadrangle. I can only describe the feelings washing over me as haunting. For hundreds of years students from all over the world have been walking those same steps, following the same ceremonies and feeling the same sense of honor and accomplishment as they completed their courses at this very very beautiful university in Scotland. Jesse is now one of those who, with the help of his amazing wife Casey, wears the robe and hood of St. Andrew’s. I think Casey deserves an honorary doctorate for her labor of love.
The sunset on Princes Street at 4pm was stunning. This picture was actually taken on Thanksgiving, the day we arrived.
As the sun went down the lights came up on the Christmas fair. Below is the view from the tea room where we had our Holiday dinner. We were grateful the Holiday dinner was turkey, and while it wasn’t quite the same as a Thanksgiving turkey dinner, we were in Edinburgh, so no complaints.
By Monday evening we were back in Colorado and Tuesday morning back to work. Tonight as I sit in an overstuffed arm chair, eating my Mom’s Spanish Stew while the fire crackles, the grandkids have gone home and all is quiet, I’m amazed by the extremes of the week. Why God allowed us 4 days in Scotland, when life is a roller-coaster, is a mystery, but it was wonderful.
Today it was only 7 degrees, so I spent this snow day baking Christmas goodies with Sean and Lucy. It’s a good way to end the week and begin to prepare for Christmas.