It’s my birthday. And it’s the day of the Scottish referendum for independence. It feels exciting that my fate is bound up in the fate of my country like this; that I celebrate a new cycle of age and awareness, whilst my country goes to the voting booth, and comes out in a new state. Particularly following the profound deepening of Scotland’s political discourse, and her newfound ability to express herself in all the vibrant biodiversity she has claimed as her own.
It’s a potent moment, which for me and for many others like myself, is the culmination of years of passionate dedication to a vision. All these years of moving towards this fork in the road: do we continue this dreadful path we’re on, or do we take the road less travelled.
From Bella Caledonia’s poster campaign: my favourite by Ritchie Feenie
It’s a moment where we celebrate having found our identity, and state it so, for the world to see. It’s uncertain for sure what might become of us all, but that’s what makes it all the more potent and exciting!
I love the moments in my life which reflect such potency, such thrilling engagement: moments like this are the ones which have shaped all the successes in my life- from adventuring abroad, learning languages, buying a property in an Italian medieval quarter, living barefoot and without a home- all these things might have seemed wild or carefree or even irresponsible, but from the perspective of my life path, they were the decisions to which my heart-head-soul-stomach said DO IT!
High Corrie, Isle of Arran, 1978
Moments like this also reflect the more difficult, heart-renching and fear-laden decisions I’ve had to make in my life: running away from home to escape what I understood at the time was a family who hated me; going back to college after my husband left me and I felt utterly bereft; leaving my partner who was behaving in an abusive way with me, even though I was very vulnerable in a foreign country.
Italy, 2012- my first proper winter in Guardia Sanframondi
This opportunity Scotland has today is a unique and potent moment, because it is this moment that we hold all this power in our hands. We hold the power to create, to act responsibly and to be accountable for our actions: to wake up and to lead the way. With this vote, we are able to take the reins of our own destiny, which will mean we have to muck out the stable too, but will also mean that we get to control where our horse is going.
I love to reflect on what I’ve achieved, as another birthday comes around. This one, like no other, I get to reflect on what my country and my people have achieved. And, like many others in Scotland on this proud day, I’ve never felt this much a part of my culture -so contained within the shared woven fabric of our identity and expression.
It feels like a great good gift, by ourselves, to ourselves, that we have risen to this moment with such genuine grace, nobility, authenticity. No shame in our having sworn or raised a voice here or there, shaken a fist even; we’ve done it in passion and in belief in something good.
I really believe that we can take this momentum and run with it, and that this moment is the moment the world has waited for- that it can be a tipping point, the first flakes of snow tumbling before the avalanche. And we’ve barely even started!
Our glorious, pure-hearted, untamed, idealistic, visionary, genius nation is stepping into its own shoes for the first time in over 300 years, and it feels fucking amazing!
Glen Sannox, yesterday