Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot?

One of the most treasured seasons in my life was the semester I studied abroad in Scotland.

Why? Among other reasons, I think it was the first time I’d ever felt completely free and uninhibited. It certainly was the first time I’d ever seen a long-held dream realized. I was given the gift of exploration. My whole purpose of being there was to discover as much as I possibly could in five months. It was a ticket to adventure. In a word, it was magic.

But my most cherished memories – my favorite souvenirs, if you will – aren’t of freely exploring, but of friendship forming.

It wasn’t my plan to root so deeply in such a short amount of time. But, knowing my personality, perhaps it was inevitable. Within weeks I found myself warmly welcomed by some of the kindest, most genuine people I’ve known. They accepted me. They invited me for tea, for dinner, to church, and into their homes. They accepted this loud, weird, very American girl into their midst and I loved them.

pier walk at university of st andrews

A year after I returned from Scotland, my friends came to visit me – to explore my country as I did theirs. It was a wonderful reunion! And we’ve continued to keep up with each other’s lives. Recently, we had a lovely Skype date. We chatted, laughed, and prayed together just like old times.

Robert Burns asked of his readers years ago, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot?” I reply with a resounding “No!” They certainly shouldn’t be. And acquaintance shouldn’t be avoided, either. Think of all the places you’ve gone. All the seasons of life you’ve walked through. In those moments, have you avoided connecting deeply? Or have you embraced the moment and rooted where you are?

Wherever you are, I encourage you to be all there.

4 Comments

  1. Sarah M on November 30, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Scotland is one of my top 10 places I’d like to visit. I haven’t traveled extensively since before marrying my husband and having kids, but now that they’re a tad older, we’re ready. We have had Scotland 2015 (it’ll be our 10 yr anniversary) on the calendar for about two years. I can’t wait!
    Sarah M

    • Victoria on November 30, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      It’s a gorgeous country! The people and the landscape are so full of character. Exciting you’ll be heading there in 2015! Can’t wait to watch your experience 🙂

  2. Bek on December 2, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I love this! Even though distance makes it hard to maintain some relationships, I love it when the foundation is stronger than proximity. Lovely post!

  3. Deanna on December 5, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Love this! I need that reminder sometimes to invest in relationships, even if there’s space between us. It’s easy for me to get caught up in to do lists and the immediate and not take the time to write a note, make a call etc.

    (Side note: So awesome that you got to spend 5 months in Scotland! My sister and I went to Europe for 2 weeks 7 1/2 years ago now – England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, and Wales. Obviously we didn’t spend too long in any place. 🙂 It was a blast. Then 4 1/2 years ago I spend 2 weeks with a friend in Germany who was doing a university exchange program for the year. I’m ready to go back again!)

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