(Scotland, Moonstone, a Vision)
Not for a soul like thine the calm
Of selfish ease and joys of sense
But duty more than crown or palm
Its own exceeding recompense
Go up and on thy day well done
Its morning promise well fulfilled arise to triumph yet unwon
To holier tasks that God has willed
J G Whittier
At last they arrived in Inverness to the wild Highland greeting of his family,
“Failte duibb Ronald.” greeted his brother with a bear hug that almost snapped his ribs in two.
“Sith gun rob so.” answered Ronald in the Gaelic that he had not spoken for so long and clasped his hand on his brother’s shoulder.
His father and older brother were dead but the others made sure he was welcomed as befitting to a Grant. They held a wild ‘Ceilidh’ with drinks flowing like water and dancing and singing and the playing of the pipes late into the night, all the old Bodachs and Cailleachs were dancing and yelling as they jigged around the floor to the reels. Rose was taken by the wild free people and soon was twirling around the floor with her new relatives in a gay happy spirit.
After a train to the coast and the journey across the channel then up to Scotland they were quite exhausted, but could not have refused to accept the hospitality. Relatives had arrived from as far away as Tolsta Head and Stornoway for this special occasion so they could do no other than join in to the celebrations. They were somehow infused as if from on high with energy and vitality and swirled to the pipes as good as any of the locals.
Ronald’s mother although old was still very active and was part of the Social Reform group and a Missionary Board member. Despite her age she was a feisty woman who had devotion every morning and vespers at night. She held prayer meetings in her house every Wednesday and it was always a great time to testify of miracles and God’s power.
Rose and Ronald enjoyed this time in Scotland it was refreshing and Rose especially enjoyed it. The dull gray skies the pouring rain the cold winds the rich green hills as the days passed and turned to weeks the weeks to months and before she knew it she was seven months pregnant, and really showed it. They would walk together along the hills bracing the wild winds.
One evening after dinner and while sitting in the library resting, drifting between sleep and consciousness reflecting on life in Morocco Ronald had a vision of Kahlid and in the vision he saw the needs of that land of and its many ills. He was not quite sure what it meant so kept silent. Rose had gone up earlier as she was tired so Ronald had locked up and then climbed up the stirs to his room.
Ronald entered the bedroom quietly in case Rose was asleep. He closed the door; the lamp had been dimmed yet he could see quite well. He moved quietly over to the alcove in the wall where their bed was positioned, then sat down beside her on the bed.
“The baby is kicking my love,” she said, looking up into his eyes. “Feel here.” Surprised as he had thought her already asleep he sat down next to her. Taking his hand in hers she put it on her large tummy and he smiled as he felt the kicking.
“A lively one, maybe a boy?” he said.
She laughed, “Maybe, but you know girls can be feisty also.”
“Well if it’s a girl it will be exactly like her mother,” he laid his head on her belly listening to the baby inside.
“What a miracle it is to create a new life,” she said. “To feel a new life forming within, nurturing the seed deep within one’s own body.”
He kissed her stomach and she smiled. “Yes, God has been good to us and blessed our union.”
“I thank God for you and all the love you have given me my little Rose. More has been restored to me than I imagined I ever deserved. You and this life within you are but the topping to it all. I feel my love that there is something calling me to do great things in return for all that has been given to me.”
“I know Ronald when the baby is born I feel we should depart from these shores. This land is saturated, content and the people, as the pebbles in the sea do not see the value of what they possess anymore. There is though waiting in the needy lands of Arabia and beyond people who need to see true love. As Henry Martyn who gave his life and died out in the desert sands of Persia, there awaits our destiny my love. We have been called to reach out and be a sample of love to those who are the most neglected those who are often despised and condemned by many.”
“Yet for now my love our journey has brought us here and we must abide, we shall do what we can and await the birth of our child.”
She turned over on her side to rest her stomach and looked out the window at the rain starting to pour down. The rain had started to increase outside and was growing into a storm. They listened to its howling and the beating of the rain upon the rooftop as they lay back in each other’s arms content and safe listening to the torrential rain without. What would await them in the future? It would be revealed in time as always. As the storm increased in fury Ronald thought on the words of William Cowper, ‘God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform, He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.’ was some miraculous power indeed working out the mysterious plan of their life he wondered.
So it was that on New Year’s Eve the first foot to greet the Grant family was a beautiful dark eyed beauty, a baby girl, born on the third hour of the first day of 1906. The air was filled with the music of the pipes as Robert Douglas played with all his heart; Douglas had always been a great friend of the Grants and brought into the birth the gaiety of a highland wedding.
Ronald watched with elation as his daughter was given to him, she was the most beautiful thing with dark deep brown eyes and raven hair and a smile like her mother. So it was that Moonstone was born into the family of Grant. So as to appease his family by not having a first name of Moonstone upon the birth certificate they had her christened Pearl Moonstone Grant. They chose Pearl as a name because of the pearly blue of the moonstone. Rose as Ronald’s family called Gulistan lay watching her husbands’ face as it lit up with joy at the sight of this beautiful treasure from above.
The weeks passed away Moonstone grew her Beautiful soft eyes touching and melting the hardest of hearts, and Ronald and Gulistan becoming restless day by day, as the life of Highland Gentry was not the life they were used too. It was during these days that Ronald learnt some information regarding his father. He already knew that at the time of his departure his father had unbeknown to all been suffering from consumption and had died while in India some two years later. His body had been shipped back to Scotland for burial He had been a reclusive type of person preferring to keep his feelings worries lest hidden behind his facade of gruff military exterior.
When he died his personal items and letters had all been sent along with his body, amongst them was a diary. Ronald’s mom gave it to him one evening, saying only that he should read it. Upon reading it Ronald learned how his departure back then had torn at his father’s soul, even though his stern appearance seemed to be the confident aggressive officer, but inside he had felt turmoil of soul he had regretted his actions and wished he could have undone them. Too late though to change things he had fallen into a depression and not fought against his sickness with his usual vigor and strength of will so had succumbed to it.
Ronald the moved in his spirit knelt down to pray for his father who so often had been at variance with him. He realized how little he had tried to understand him or really communicate with him; he must have been a lonely person, how sad to live a life like that. So often we are blind to the needs of others seeing only the outward manifestations rather than looking deeper into the far recesses of the soul. How many people go through life like that their real self hidden behind a wall of their own concocting and never finding the joys of life, it is sad to think of that, yet many such instances came to his mind from the many he had known in his life.