Bonnie Yoga Challenge: April

Dearest Readers,

For the month of April, my challenge is to do yoga every day. My flexibility has decreased a lot since I’ve stopped stretching on a regular basis, so I think it’s time I get back to that.

The rules for the month are really simple: do at least ten minutes of yoga a day.

That can be an online video or a routine of my own creation, but it must be at least ten minutes.

Easy, right?

Your Bonnie Celtophile,

Dani

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Suns Out, Scots Out

Dearest Friends,

When it comes time for the clouds to clear and the warm air to sweep its way across Glasgow, it’s also time for the city to come out of hibernation.

No more huddling up under warm clothes and avoided eye contact. No more multiple layers with a scarf overtop. No more boots and long coats and hats to hide under. No more rushing from place to place because it’s better indoors.

No more.

When the sun finally dominates the sky and weather grows warm (so like…50-60 F), it’s time to don t-shirts and cardigans and capris. It’s time to take over the open green spaces and smile at strangers as you pass. It’s time to slow down and enjoy the penetrating warmth of the sun seeping into your bones.

And it’s time for those of us unused to emerging from such a hibernation to wonder at how beautiful, how magical, Scotland is under a bright blue sky after having survived so much gray for so long.

To wonder at the speed in which flowers spring from the ground and bloom towards their source of life, and the speed at which humans seem to do the same.

Coming from a colder, brighter winter to days that seem to be too hot, as I usually do, is nothing compared to emerging from months of mostly cloudy skies to a bright day just warm enough to spread cheer but not so warm that you want to shun it.

It was so lovely, in fact, and such a great way to go to and from the library that I completely forgot to take pictures of the flowers spreading across some of the lawns at the botanics or the animals that were livelier than ever.

Lucky for me, though, it’s supposed to stay sunny and warm, though not as warm as today, for much of the week, and that, my friends, is something to smile about.

Your Bonnie Celtophile,

Dani

Lia Fáil: The Screaming Stone of Tara

Dear Readers,

This is a day late, I know, and I apologize. However, I do have something really cool (and slightly terrifying) to share with you today. It’s come from the readings I have for this week on Tara, a site that is both historically and pseudo-historically royal/sacred.

One of the monuments on the site is called Lia Fáil. It’s a stone that has the capacity to cry or weep, and in one story (Baile in Scáil) a king, Conn, stands upon the stone.

And the stone cries out. But it cries out loud enough that it’s heard not just throughout Tara, but also throughout the plain on which Tara sits. And it screams once for every king that will reign in Conn’s line, and let me tell you, that’s a lot of times.

Neat, right?

But imagine you’re in that plain. You’re minding your own business, smithing or baking or weaving or farming or whatever it is you do, and out of nowhere, you hear screaming. It sounds like it’s coming from nearby, but you look and see no one, and the screaming doesn’t stop.

You see others, and they can hear it, too, but nobody knows what’s causing it. And it keeps going. And you stay in a group, looking around nervously, but the screaming starts to grate on your nerves.

Some people get angry. Some people cry. Others go out searching for the source, but they never find it. You cover your ears, hoping not to hear it, but it doesn’t help at all.

And suddenly, it stops. You theorize with others about what might have caused it and discuss the supernatural beings that might be at work. You hope something traveling by will be able to tell you the truth of what happened.

But you never run into the king or his druids, and you never learn what caused the screaming.

And from then on, whenever someone screams, you brace yourself in case it doesn’t stop.

Or….

Imagine you’re Conn. You’re walking along, minding your own business, and stop on a stone.

And from beneath your feet, screaming starts.

Lucky for you, there are druids with you that might be able to explain why the stone is screaming, but that doesn’t make you feel any better about the noise grating on your nerves. Or your inability to leave the stone until it’s done.

Okay, so I exaggerated and fictionalized much of that. I don’t have that much detail about the story. But I do stand by the fact that as interesting as a screaming stone is, it’s also very, very terrifying.

Your Bonnie Celtophile,

Dani