by Hazel Jane - Scotland-based Independent Celebrant


journeys | Luss

There is a little village called Luss that sits on the edge of Loch Lomond - it might be the quaintest place in existence.

It was just me, and my film camera, and then a beach and some seagulls and a boat or two and some of the most breathtaking views I’d ever seen. It was a simple day, in all the most perfect ways. I read a book and watched the pockets of tourists come and go. I loved being alone, and having time to sit silently on the dock. 

It was bliss, I could talk for hours about how Scotland makes me feel, but this story isn’t about being in Luss, it’s about leaving it.

I was ready to go home. I hadn’t focused too much on the time, assuming naively that the buses would run fairly late. I got caught up feeding carrots to the local wildlife and ended up missing the last transport home.

I like a challenge, but I started to get nervous when I realised I had no phone signal, no cash, and no ATMs in my vicinity. Thank goodness a kind bus driver offered to take penniless me to another bus stop, further up the road, where I could catch a service my ticket was valid for. 

Alas, it couldn't be that simple -  I ended up on the side of the motorway, on a Friday evening, with a dead phone, waiting for a bus that never came.

I'd considered my limited options. To my right was a gorgeous view that was turning menacing as the sun faded out. To my left lay empty fields. There was no one around. I was just mustering the courage to stick my thumb out and hitchhike back to Glasgow when the bus driver from earlier drove back past me on the other side of the road, heading home. He could see I was stranded and unprepared, and with no judgement, he invited me onto his bus, so that he could take me to a local train station and make sure I got home safe. It took, altogether, nearly four hours to get back to my flat. And what a glorious adventure it was. 

I've lost count how many days have been made better by the surprise kindness of strangers. Of people who have taken time out of their lives to be generous and compassionate and genuinely caring. I love sands, and waters and all the greenery that drapes across Scotland, but I will always, always love the people, and their gentle hearts, more.