This has been a long day, with a happy conclusion. There is nothing quite like sitting in a hospital for hours and hours, lifting up prayers on behalf of a loved one, and waiting for news. My sisters and I did just that today, keeping my stepdad company as my sweet mother had surgery.
This year has been a challenging one for my mom, health-wise. However, after today I believe she will heal to find that she is stronger and feels better than she has in quite some time. My intention is to walk alongside her, encouraging her with a healthy eating plan. Mom has vibrant years ahead in which to enjoy life.
After she was safely through surgery and in the recovery room, the nurse urged us all to take a break and go home and eat, while they prepared Mom to go to a room. As I ate a quick meal of veggies and guacamole, I pondered what to write about in my blog post tonight. I briefly scanned an email about taking travel photos…and that inspired a thought. I needed a cool photo…something that caught my eye and my heart…that I could write about.
Where would such an opportunity arise? I was headed back to the hospital. As I chatted with my mother and other family members in her hospital room, I suddenly remembered that I had left a bag in my car, with my mother’s glasses and clothes in it. Back to the car I went, car keys in hand, to fetch the bag.
It was as I was returning to the hospital, strolling across the parking lot, that I had a strong urge to look up. The sun was setting. A cooling breeze swirled around me. I realized how beautiful the evening was, how peaceful. That’s when I noticed it. In the southern sky a distinctive white pattern crisscrossed the bright blue sky.
I slowed my steps and studied the white cross on a blue background. Such a familiar design, and one that made my heart beat faster. The Scottish flag was unfurled across the sky above me.
I know the story about how the Scottish Saltire came to be. It is told that the flag originated during a 9th century battle, where Oengus II led a force of Picts and Scots to victory over the Angles. Supposedly, a miraculous white saltire appeared in the blue sky and Oengus’ troops were roused to victory by the sign. Consisting of a blue background over which is placed a white representation of an X-shaped cross, the Saltire is one of Scotland’s most recognizable symbols.
Here was the subject of my cool photo, that had captured my attention and my heart. Here was an inspirational moment that drew my eyes upward along with my spirit. And my phone with its camera was in a hospital room on the third floor.
I was losing daylight. I had to get my camera. On my hurried trek through the hospital, I noticed that the view I needed wasn’t visible from any of the windows on any of the floors. I would have to go back out to the parking lot. In my haste, I accidently punched the wrong button in the elevator and ended up on the sixth floor. And…how long would that saltire remain in the sky? Clouds drift, change shape, dissolve away.
As I rushed through the doors and onto the parking lot, phone in hand, I looked up, not sure what I would see. It was still there. Unchanged. A white saltire on a blue background. People paused, craning their necks, looking upward too as I snapped pics. I didn’t care. I was capturing a symbol…of battles won today and promises made. A symbol that represented my ancient roots and extended an invitation to explore my homeland more deeply in the near future.
As I stood watching the light fade from the sky, I heard a still small voice whisper, “Rest. Trust. I see you Lassie. I see you. I’ve got you.” I swear the voice had a subtle Scottish brogue.
I see, too, I whispered back.