A long line of people had accumulated behind Julia, Yana, and I as we attempted to cross the ninth fairy pool at the bottom of the Black Cuillins Mountains, just near Glennbrittle on the Isle of Skye. Yana was determined to cross the rocky and fast flowing crystal blue stream; she had her walking stick in hand and a focused concentration plastered on her little face. The 20 people standing behind me were all too eager to look over my shoulder, attempting to observe her adorable curiosity. Yana placed her walking stick in the stream to determine the depth and then she started vigorously rubbing her chin. I could hear some of the people behind me ‘oooh’-ing and ‘ahh’-ing which prompted Julia to bend down and ask Yana a fourth time if she was absolutely positive that daddy should not carry her across. Yana simply shook her head no and slowly began crossing the stream using some of the flatter rocks as a path.
Once across, Yana gave a thumbs up to the line of smiling people. The people waved, smiled, and cheered at her successful crossing as she continued onward to navigate the rest of the fairy pools. The sun was high in the sky when we decided to sit down and have a late breakfast. The air was crisp with the smell of sea salt and pine trees on the breeze.
Our refreshments came in the form of a cool wind, shuttling away the hot rays of the sun. I wish that we could have stayed at those fairy pools for the entire day, but the others — as gracious and supportive to my adventuring daughter as they were — had also clamored forth to see the pools, and we had to make an exit.
I think of my trip to the Isle of Skye often. The fairy pools, in their mysterious, wondrous beauty, have found a permanent residence in my memory. It’s funny how those small moments, like my daughter leaping through a small stream with a determined smile on her face, can stick in your mind like that.