Of Rain, Poetry and Trees: The Trip to Little Sparta

Little Sparta

From time to time, I miss Edinburgh. From time to time, I get ridiculously strong hankerings to walk down those cobbled streets, in and out of Pollock Halls. 2012 summer had been a momentous one for me. My first trip, all alone, all the way to Scotland, for summer school. And every moment of it had been beautiful. Remarkable place, even more remarkable people. And memories that will last a lifetime.

Of the many social programs that had been arranged for us, one was a trip to this little place, named, funnily, Little Sparta- a garden in Dunsyre. It was a rainy day, I remember. 11th July, 2012, the date.  After a tiring night of finishing a paper on Woolf, I had gotten up excitedly, only to get paranoid at seeing the dull grey sky, promising a complete wash out of a day. There were no classes scheduled, and it would have been a shame had we not gone out. What is amazing is how everyone unanimously decided to brave the weather and set out for the drive. Time was so precious to us, every little gathering, every trip planned was special. It was only a matter of a week that we would all go out separate ways.

So we set out. In a small-ish bus. About 12 of us. Roland, Meg, Christina, Martina, Moon, Soumi, Sinjita, Ola, and a few others whose names I cannot remember for the life of me. Umbrellas in tow, and packets of Walkers Salt & Vinegar to keep us company.The drive was a long and lovely one. A happy group of people, singing happy songs. When we finally reached, we were greeted by a LOT of mud. And I remember, Moon was wearing high heels. Yes, she was very uncomfortable. But she did a swell job wading through it!


And, there were a LOT of cows. Lots and lots of cows all around us. Feeding on the grass nonchalantly. Not really giving a damn about us. Some occasionally looking up at us. Waddling away to feed some more. While most of us were gushing about how bloody cute they looked, there were one or two talking longingly of burgers and steaks. *shudder shudder*

Well, I love cows. They are gentle, bovine beings.

Anyhow, we battled the mud and slush and walked up the long pathway to enter Little Sparta. And that is precisely when it started raining. Not heavy rain, but a steady, persistent kind. My camera had stopped working the day I had arrived in Edinburgh. So I gingerly patted my trusty iPhone, muttering prayers that it doesn’t give up on me as well. We picked up bright orange umbrellas and set out to explore the place. No point wasting whatever time we had. And it truly was beautiful. Picture book kind of beautiful. The rain gave it a touch of the mysterious. The winding pebbled pathways leading into groves of trees whose names I did not know. Would never know. Little lakes and lush green fields. And grass that grew so incredibly high. It was beautiful.

I’ll post some photos I had managed to take, despite the rain.


Enchanting, is what it was. Like a secret place that is tucked away As safely, somewhere very far away. Like a kind of Wonderland. sparta1

As we made our way through the woods, I had expected elves to spring out. But they didn’t. Maybe they just didn’t like us too much. Just like the cows. They like their privacy I suppose.

That little boat in the lake. I remember just standing and staring at it for a long, long time. And somehow that moment, as I stood in that rainsoaked landscape, I felt overwhelmed. There was nowhere I would rather be.


There was this one area, beyond the lake, on the other side, which was filled with large blocks of stones, with words etched on them.It was quite prophetic, but even more poetic. It read: “The present order is the disorder of the future”

It was a day spent midst concrete poetry and sculptures- a perfect blend of art and architecture. Of nameless flowers, grassy paths and puddles of water. Of a little boat in a lake. And a deep sense of loss and remembrance. I shall go back some day. And I hope it rains then as well.