One white and cream peacock, four blue, spotted with flecks of sun on the wing - I had watched them strutting around the lawns of Scone Palace earlier in the week. I even found a few of their molting feathers that lay like dots of spectral paint on the ground (a sign of good luck according to the palace staff), definitely a sign of summer. These male peacocks were full of flash color and steady grace. Open plumed and approaching with high throated voices that stop you in your tracks, what could ever match the grandness of their roaming across the seemingly endless palace green?
Then there came down the mountain a young man called Angus… spelled Aonghus in Irish Gaelic. He came out of nowhere, flying around a corner, landing in front of me. With a clear bell voice, a certain “Hello,” he began to speak: His mum is Irish, his step-dad Scots. I did not ask about his Dad and he did not volunteer any information there. What he did relay in a very candid and open manner were stories about all the places he had already travelled to or lived (his step-da is in petroleum) and how in his short years he had already seen how much these places (all of Asia, Houston, a myriad of other towns and now Fife,) had changed. He liked the wildness of this part of Perthshire. He also ran up and down this 3000 foot plus mountain with the ease of a stag, leaping from rock to rock before slowing down to cross my path. He was going to go to Mars someday, but as a scientist, not a tourist. He explained that it was why the space programs were so keen to test out an outpost on the moon – as a start off point for Mars, because getting free of Earth’s atmosphere, the weight of gravity, took a lot of energy. Once out in free space, it was much easier to travel farther – he was certain we would be able to do it and survive, and soon enough. Aonghus had seen a lot already, the world was getting crowded and smaller by the minute. He had been paying attention. He was not too distracted by television or games, or any of that childhood stuff – his clear blue eyes were wide open. He had concerns - places were rapidly changing now, people were crowded in, more and more each day. "In Singapore they regularly tear down buildings to build new ones – no need to renovate there, just start over." “It has always been that way there,” Aonghus said. “Because it has been a trading port for so long.” Spoken like someone who has spent many furloughs off ship and coming into port over the millennia. Aonghus knew what he was talking about. He missed some of the places that were already gone, wondered what would fill his days and where and how many changes would come. He reminded me of myself at his age... full of the wonder of the world, more curious than scared, but aware of the turning, the constant shifting of life on earth. Where was that earlier me, somewhere down deep inside the cascading waves of year after year gone by? Aonghus could conquer the world. I had instant and complete faith in him. He could do whatever he set himself towards. He had lived so much already and was just getting started. His life seemed to loom large ahead of him, like it went on forever. I was suddenly aware of just how far I had traveled in time and space and how my physical journey was now much shorter than his. He was still in the initial phases of unfoldment for his life span, Mars aside. No doubt I will read about what he is about someday – global and/or inter-stellar traveler that he is. I watched Aonghus as he went on ahead to catch up with the rest of his group - he danced and leapt down the trail and reached them in no time. Alone again, I looked around at the endless circle of wide open space around me - rows of mountains and glens, cloud formations going on as far as I could see.