I spent three wonderful afternoons at the Dunfermline Library finishing my writing for the retreat in the US. The library is brand new and very grand. I sat up in the reading room which overlooked the castle and the garden.
The library was built with funds from Andrew Carnegie. In fact, half, the town is built from funds from Andrew Carnegie. He thought it was a bad luck to die with money and he not only funded many libraries in Scotland but most of them in the US as well. He was a firm believer in education for everyone. I like him a lot.
I visited the house he was born in Dunfermline. It is now a museum. He left for New York when he was 13 years old. Both his parents were loomers but when the industrial revolution came their work was taken over by the steam loom. They left for New York because they could no longer survive in Scotland. During that time, Andrew learned what poverty felt like and he never forgot this.
This is how Andrew describes his birthplace:
“I was fortunate in my ancestors and supremely so in my birthplace. Where one is born is very important, for different surroundings and traditions appeal to and stimulate different latent tendencies within a child. I was influenced by Dunfermline Abby founded in the early eleventh century (1070). The Tomb of The Bruce is in the centre of the Abby. Dunfermline was both nationally and religiously the Capital of Scotland. It sits on high ground with Edinburgh in sight to the south and to the north the peaks of the Ochils clearly in view.”
I loved walking from Kingseat to Dunfermline – past the meadows, the wheat fields, the wildflowers and munching on the wild berries on my trek. Before I made it to the library I always spent an hour in a café overlooking the historic town, people watching and sipping my coffee. To be in a place surrounded by views and beautiful books is truly bliss for me J