The final leg of my sabbatical journey began as we arrived in Scotland. After two days in Glasgow to sightsee and recover from jetlag we traveled by train to Edinburgh. We are here to see our son, Sam, perform in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Out of the Blue, an a capella men’s choir from Oxford University.
This portion of the journey wasn’t part of the original sabbatical vision. Originally, I was to visit just four communities – all from North America: The Simple Way in Philadelphia, St. John’s Abbey in Minnesota, the Bay View Association in Michigan, and Uplands Village in Tennessee. But Sam’s involvement with Out of the Blue changed all that. As a member of the group, he would necessarily remain at Oxford for the entire school year (instead of the one semester originally planned), and he would also commit himself to performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the entire month of August, as has been the group’s tradition over the past eight years. His travels, and extended absence from us, led us to see if a trip to Scotland could be woven into our summer plans.
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the largest arts festival in the world. It takes place every year in the month of August in the ancient and beautiful city of Edinburgh. This year, the Fringe spans 25 days, showcasing over 2,695 shows from 47 countries in 279 venues. It’s a smorgasborg of creativity featuring music, theater, comedy, dance, the spoken word, opera, burlesque, art exhibits, workshops, as well as a children’s program.
Out of the Blue gave a rockin’ good performance yesterday afternoon! (Those boys are performing every day for the entire festival, with one day off.) We’ll soak up a few days watching our boy and taking in as many shows as our middle-aged souls can handle, and then it is north to Iona!