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Over fifteen years ago, I moved to Japan for a year. Though I considered myself all grown up then, it was an unsettling move for a 20 year old. Different country. Different language. Lots of unknowns. No friends (yet). I spent a lot of time before I moved staring up at the clouds, reminding myself that even on the other side of the world, I would be sheltered by the same sky as my loved ones back home.

3 years later, I was on holiday at a beach in North Carolina with my family, preparing for a move to Scotland. Compared with Japan, it was less daunting, but even so, it was far away. An ocean would lie between me and the people who knew me best. I dug my toes into the damp sand and watched the clouds drift.

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In between moving boxes and resettling in our wee home in the Scottish Borders, I’ve found myself gazing up, once again preparing for a departure to a new land. After the overwhelmingly sad and love-filled goodbye at OSP, I feel my emotions wandering slowly across my heart, gentle as clouds across a summer sky. I take Judy for a walk in large fields and let her run, while I lie back in the grass, feeling the whisper of breeze, or the tickle of small drops of rain on my face. Dark storm clouds hover on the horizon, a quiet rainbow peers through, and then the sun returns, painting the fields a brilliant gold. I allow myself to pray, doze, be.

This sky, I remind myself, it shelters us all.

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