It is a lovely little place. Outside, there is a notice that explains that it isn't so much a sermon in stone as an evocation of the very trees and birds. Perhaps. It was very nice, anyway. Some of the stone carvings were very new, and others were eroded beyond recognition. It was nice to see that they're actively repairing it. Inside, it was a perfect little church, peaceful and lovely.
The congregation was small but of all ages. The service was the familiar Episcopalian one, and the sermon was on Mothering Day, today. I was struck again by the black/white tendency of Christian theology. The call to extirpate evil from all that we do, to follow only the good seems to me to be very dangerous. Not coincidentally, I just finished Carl Jung's The Undiscovered Self, in which, among other things, he says that when we repress something, when we don't admit that it is part of our human nature, then it finds some way of expressing itself anyway, but in a form that we don't recognize and hence cannot repress. Despite my queasiness about some of the things the minister said, I did enjoy his articulateness, and even wrote down one of his phrases, "The porridge-covered architecture (of northern Christian countries) and the strong East wind."
On one of the walls near the altar was the phrase, "Forte est vina. Fortior est rex. Fortiores sunt mulieres. Supra omnes vincit veritias," which I surely will use for my Latin students. It comes from a Bible story where King Darius judges whether wine, the king, women, or the truth are the strongest. Guess which he picks?
Afterwards, I talked with a woman whose husband had worked for the Scottish Salmon Board, but we never got that technical, which was too bad.
We wandered about through fragrant wild onion, viewing the ruins of Rosslyn Castle and enjoying the river at its base. Jelte stuck his head in the water, which made everyone happy.
We had greasy but tasty pub grub and then caught the bus back to town. Camilla and Jelte went off to look for John Napier's grave again, and again couldn't find it, while I napped.
Then, the train to St Andrews through green and tidy countryside.