I call Kinlochard my spiritual home. It is a wee hamlet nestling in a valley between the hills and on the banks of Loch Ard. I never tire of gazing across it to the forest on the far side, with its hundreds of shades of green, reflated in the surface of the loch. Peregrine falcons are nesting on the crags above, and the heron slowly wings its way up the loch to its nest in the huge trees on a small island. The swans, mallard, and grayback ducks share the banks with sandpipers and coots and a few fishermen, casting for trout. Sometimes I can see, far up the hill, a stag and a hind crossing a clearing and, if I am lucky, a couple of otters playing on the rocks beside the loch. Peace prevails.
When I first discovered Kinlochard, I was on one of my prolonged binges. Even then, the beauty and tranquility got through the alcoholic haze. Now that I have sobriety, I try to visit this place of rest twice a year and marvel at the majesty of our Creator. I see no beauty in art. Sculpture and architecture are man-made and cannot rival the Creator’s work. How can we hope to better the Master who taught us? How fortunate we alcoholics are to have a malady which compels us to seek recovery through the spiritual.