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Daily Journal

July 2 – Extracurricular Activities
A walk along the Antonine Wall (Continued)

We forego the under-road passageway on the way back, as the traffic has died down. Soon we are back on our pedestrian road hiking up past the very strange tree. I laugh, telling Robin here's our hill of the day; I didn't think we'd have one.

We attempt to examine the wall a little more closely, but this wall has turned into a living thing over the years, there's just no seeing through all of the plant life that has overgrown it. There are also deep dark burrows here and there and I'm surprised we haven't seen any of the fat brown bunnies that we've seen from time to time on the roadside.

Our conversation ranges far and wide as we trek up the steep incline, but works its way around to a discussion about how strange and wondrous it is that people (like us), who are born and raised thousands of miles away feel that we belong here, that this is our true home.

I tell Robin about a discussion about genetic memory that I participated in on a message board at a site called The Gathering of the Clans several years ago. If we are, in our corporeal bodies, made up of the DNA from our forefathers, yet we only use 10% of our brain, who's to say that these feelings we experience aren't echoes of memory? These feelings we have could be genetic memory passed down through DNA, memories that lie dormant in the 90% of our brains that we don't use; memories of, and longings to return, "home" which are awakened by the sound of the pipes, or the sight of braes blanketed in heather. I'm sure a lot of people would roll their eyes at this philosophical conversation but we enjoy ourselves immensely.

Soon we've reached Oaklands again, but we're not quite ready for this day to end. We walk halfway to Callendar House, talking of our kids and our lives at home as the lights of the town twinkle in the darkness. It's late, cold and dreary. We plan on leaving for Edinburgh early in the morning and I still have the dread task of tackling my repacking before me, so we turn back.

In our room, cups of hot chocolate from the tea tray warm us. Robin writes in her journal while I shuffle clothing and books and gifts around for close to an hour. I make considerable headway, but make sure to leave some room for the shopping I expect to do in Edinburgh tomorrow, after a much anticipated visit to the Museum of History.

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