|St. Margaret's Chapel, Edinburgh Castle|
However, on to what this blog is about! To the left is what began as a freehand sketch of the stained glass window in St. Margaret's chapel in Edinburgh Castle, Scotland. It's the most interesting building in the place, to me. In the midst of this fortress was this tiny lasting, loving place. It struck my heart. As it should, it stands a little apart, looks unassuming and unremarkable, but it's one of those places that sticks in the memory, because it sticks in the heart.
Built by David I around 1130 it's the oldest building in Edinburgh. He was a king and a warrior (they were all unbelievably brutal then) but also a pious man. He built to honour his mother. She became known as St. Margaret.
I remember standing there in the cold and burgeoning sleet of a late February day and being swept away when told this. It's near the fence that marks the edge of the precipice overlooking the rest of the city. Well, the city is there now, not so much then.
It touched me that this man built this gift for her. She had passed on before he was nine. Suddenly the little stone box became more of a precious treasure chest representing Love and generosity of spirit.
Even an amateur medievalist will know a bit of how brutal these times were. Autocracy is too gentle a word, and there was little or no conscience or sense of outrage at the barbarities committed against the common man. As in the line from Queen Eleanor in "The Lion in Winter," "Nonsense, this is 1183, and we are barbarians."