Loch na Garr (George Gordon Byron)

It’s raining. Yesterday it was sunny. Today it’s raining again. I feel this is the return of the summer of five years ago.

I’ve always loved rain, like I’ve always loved the sky before the rain or thunder. Both to me symbolise all that is hidden, buried of fear to appear weak. We don’t like rain because we’re afraid to admit that we don’t know how to deal with it, that we don’t want to deal with it. Umbrellas are cumbersome, we can’t wear the clothes and shoes that we like because they may be damaged by rain, we have to be twice as careful when driving in the rain. On a sunny day we may go out and enjoy people and places, and to only talk about things that are plesant, sunny. Rain forces us inside our homes, inside ourselves where we have no choice but to look at that which is hidden, and think and talk about it.

This is why, perhaps, as much as I like rain, I also love the idea of travelling in the rain. By car or by train, or even by bus. As long as I go somewhere I’m happy. I don’t mind walking, but for that I need an umbrella: rain doesn’t go well with my specs. I must be afraid, too, of what I have hidden inside me, or maybe I just find it easier to think when I’m on the move? I don’t know.

Or maybe I like rain because it’s so natural to be happy in sunny weather and melancholic on a rainy day, and I want to smile on a rainy day, just to change this routine?

Rain to me is the past; like snow. It dates back to the times when I was reading Byron’s Loch na Gar, which has become one of my favourite poems. Maybe I was a Scot in one of my previous lives; I don’t think about such things, but who knows, after all?

Away ye gay landscapes, ye Garrdens of roses
In you let the minions of luxury rove
Restore me the rocks where the snowflake reposes
Though still they are sacred to freedom and love.
Yet Caledonia, beloved are thy mountains
Round their white summits though elements war
Thorough cataracts foam 'stead of smooth-flowing fountains
I sigh for the valley of dark Loch na Garr.

Ah! there my young footsteps in infancy wander'd
My cap was the bonnet, my coat was the plaid
On chieftains long perish'd my memory ponder'd
As daily I strode through the pine-cover'd glade.
I sought not my home till the day's dying glory
Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star
For fancy was cheered by traditional story
Disclosed by the natives of dark Loch na Garr.

'Shades of the dead! have I not heard your voices
Rise on the night-rolling breath of the gale?'
Surely the soul of the hero rejoices
And rides on the wind o'er his own Highland vale.
Round Loch na Garr, while the stormy mist gathers
Winter presides in his cold icy car:
Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers;
They dwell in the tempests of dark Loch na Garr.

'Ill-starr'd, though brave, did no visions foreboding
Tell you that fate had forsaken your cause?'
Ah! were you destin'd to die at Culloden,
Victory rown'd not you fall with applause:
Still were you happy in death's earthly slumber
You rest with your clan in the caves of Braemar'
The pibroch resounds to the pipers loud number,
Your deeds on the echos of dark Loch na Garr.

Years have roll'd on, Loch na Garr, since I left you
Years must elapse ere I see you again
Nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you
Yet still thou art dearer than Albion's plain.
England! thy beauties are tame and domestic
To one who has roved o'er the mountains afar
Oh for the crags that are wild and magestic!
The steep frowning glories of dark Loch na Garr

The image is taken from Ensis Ltd.

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