This is St Mary’s college in St Andrews, dedicated for centuries to the study of divinity. This picture was taken from inside the old library, named after Professor James Gregory, the renowned 17th century mathematician and astronomer.
The latticed windows have a special way of letting the sunlight flow into the dark wood-panelled hallways, that renders the outside even more picturesque and the inside even more peaceful.
I have tried to take a few pictures to reflect the serenity, but they do not do it full justice. So words may do a better job.
It is a beautiful Spring day, one of those on which the sky is a clear powder blue , dotted with bright, white, floating bundles of cloud. The day is neither hot, not cold, refreshed every now and again by a gentle breeze.
I am sitting on a wooden bench in the quad – to my right, left and ahead of me are different species of tree: an evergreen, a tall poplar, a bright red hawthorne…but the most striking in this part of the quad is a birch tree, over 60 years old.
Its boughs bend, weighed down by its leaves hanging like grapes.
When the breeze comes, they spray in the direction of the wind like green tidal waves. And then drop again, still.
When I was trying to find an analogy to convey the movement of the leaves, water came to mind. And it works for the sounds of the leaves too – their songs rise to a crescendo and fall in unison as the breeze comes and goes – both soft and strong. It is the trees offering praise, in remembrance, in gratitude. There is reassurance, but also awe in their hymns. And for almost an hour now, they have never tired but continue to praise with consistent joy.