My Soul Lives There
Millport, named for a mill pond, calm and peaceful, a little bit of tranquillity in our busy lives. My soul lives there.
I've been coming since I was a baby, and forty years on it is part of me. An hour from the city; 10 minutes on the boat; heaven on earth.
Incomers bring cafes with Fair Trade and smoothies but we shelter from the rain in The Ritz, unchanged since the 50s with its jukebox, red formica and best ice cream in Scotland.
I bring my children let them clamber on rocks and splash into pools. They wander free, cycling and playing without my constant watch. Nothing bad can happen here. I turn my face from the nuclear plant on the opposite shore, and look instead to the peaks of Arran and the long, low island of Bute. I breathe in cold pleasure and breathe out my worries. I breathe in joy and breathe out care.
I pedal, waving and nodding at families whose tradition it is to cycle the island in reverse. We stop at a bay, throw stones into the sea, wrap our hands around our coffee and hope the nuclear subs stay hidden from view.