Lighthouse Letters
By Sharma Krauskopf

This is an article by Sharma Krauskopf from Michigan who fell in love with Scotland - and decided to buy a lighthouse keepers' cottage at Eshaness, a remote location in Shetland, in the far north of Scotland and live there each winter. These pages were previously part of the "Scottish Radiance e-magazine Web site which was created by Sharma.

Roaming in the Gloaming

As an American I have always been fascinated with the term "gloaming." Definitely a Scottish term, which the dictionary defines as evening, dusk: twilight. There is a famous song that rings in my mind.

Roamin' in the Gloamin'

Roamin' in the gloamin' on the bonnie banks o' Clyde,
Roamin' in the gloamin' wi' ma lassie by ma side,
When the sun has gone to rest, that's the time that I like best,
O, it's lovely roamin' in the gloamin'!

The time just before dark rules for another night is magical no matter where you are. One of my favourite games I call "Roamin through the Gloamin." If I happen to be in a car traveling during this mystical time of day I play this game. It requires I look at the houses and buildings that I pass by and let my imagination develop a story about what is going on inside each.

Passing through a big city I can see tall dark skyscrapers with a few windows whose golden light flows out in the dark. Is someone working late on an unfinished job? Maybe it is the housekeeping crew tidying up the room for another day? Or could it be a robbery taking place?

In these modern times you will pass many houses and the first thing you see is a television screen twinkling through the windows. So many televisions it seems that must be the centre of each house's world. Is everyone watching the same program or something different?

Often I see smoke starting to rise from the chimneys as fires are started against the cold of the night. It gives the house a cozy warm look and thoughts of family and contentment.

Passing by a barn with all the lights ablaze if I open my window I hear the mooing of the cows. A dairy farm is beginning the major work of the day and hopefully the cows are ready to be milked.

I often find this a sad and lonely time if I am traveling alone and far from home. For some reason I want to stop at one of these houses with lights all ablaze and join in the activities. The song is right. You definitely need someone by your side to roam in the gloaming. Most of the time I feel at gloaming I should be home watching the tower's light turn or snuggling up on the couch across from the Rayburn enjoying my home.

But, if I can't I will continue to play the game of "Roamin through the Gloamin" and have each building come to life with a story as I travel by.


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Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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