In my 1920s guide book, the one that smells of times gone by, in whose
pages sits an occasional piece of dried heather placed there carefully by
some traveller long ago, it says that Dunbar consists 'mainly of one
long street.' And who am I to argue with that? For Dunbar does indeed
consist mainly of one long street. But where some towns have nowt but
that lengthy thoroughfare, Dunbar at least has a fair smattering of
other streets, along with a brewery, castle ruins, a harbour, and the
house of a man whose words are like nectar from the plants of the gods.
For John Muir was born in Dunbar. He is said to be the 'father of the
modern conservation movement,' and if that doesn't move you then maybe
his words will:
'I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till
sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.'
It is hard not to cry when reading his many beautiful quotes, hard
not to stop and think of the world in which we find ourselves, a world
which today seems constantly
under threat from one thing or another. During my day in Dunbar I
a lot. I sighed with wonder as Muir's words washed all
over me like a cool
mountain stream, and I sighed even more
as I wandered lonely as a yellow
spring cloud around the
delightful streets of a most charming town.