When the tide came in, Algy moved back from the water’s edge, onto an area of soft green grass. He gazed out across the great sea loch towards the other shore, with its hills shrouded in low-lying clouds. Some distance beyond those hills lay his home in the far west, and the irises would be flowering there too now. It was surely time to set off homewards… As Algy reclined among the wildflowers in the low light of the long summer evening, he remembered a poem by Rabindranath Tagore:
The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.
I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my
voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet.
It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself,
and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune.
The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own,
and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.
My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said “Here art thou!”
The question and the cry “Oh, where?” melt into tears of a thousand
streams and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance “I am!”
[Algy is quoting the poem Journey Home by the late 19th/early 20th century Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore.]