Why ‘Somewhere North’?

I’ve written about this a couple times, but here’s a brief summary of why I keep calling my blogs ‘Somewhere North.’

The Spot

There’s a place in Scotland called Niest Point. It’s on the most westerly tip of Skye, and home to one of the most famous lighthouses in Scotland.

While living in Aberdeen in 2009, Lauren and I stopped there with her mom and stepdad during a week-long tour of the country. We arrived a bit before sunset, and quietly looked out over the cliffs as darkness fell somewhere over the North Sea.


We weren’t there long, enough to make the modest hike to and from the point, passing grazing sheep along the way. But I consider it my favorite place on Earth, the happy, peaceful place I picture in my head in anxious times.

The Song

‘Somewhere North’ is by Derek Webb, one of my favorite singer / songwriters over the past two decades.

It’s from a Caedmon’s Call album, and it’s one of my favorite songs.

I once framed a photo of me as a child and gave it to Lauren, bringing Webb’s lyrics to mind:

I give my life and all I am
But what I have to give
So I hand you a candid photograph of this little boy
‘Cause I have nothing to my name
But I can give you that 

Shortly after Lauren and I got married, Webb came to Toronto and at one point in the show, he took requests. I called out this song, and he happily obliged, much to my delight.

Side note:  A few months ago, I was able to speak to Webb via Skype about the impact of his music on my life and how his newest album helped me when Lauren was going through cancer treatment last month. Part of that chat can be heard on this episode of his podcast, The Airing of Grief.

All that to say, that’s where I got the name for this blog, which I hope to make more use of in the coming months as I keep my writing muscles flexed.

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