An empty bottle is usually something that gets tossed into the recycling bin, without a second thought, ready to head to a processing facility that will make it into another glass bottle. That’s what normally happens to the empty glass bottles at our house.
But not this empty bottle.
This bottle means something special. It was, until recently, full of a honey colored, heather scented liquid. A fine, luxurious 16 year single malt scotch whisky named Scapa, distilled in the Orkney Islands, located in the cold waters of the North Sea, Scotland.
Our now empty bottle of Scapa
This bottle represents history, family, love and friendship.
My Nana (my Grandmother on my Father’s side) was from the Orkney Islands. Orkney is a group of about 70 islands north of the mainland of Scotland, with a population of roughly 20,000. Rich with fertile soil and wildlife, the islands have a mystical history, including Standing Stones, megaliths that reach up to 19 feet high and are thought to have originated at around 3100 B.C. I am fascinated by the folklore and magic of Scotland, and am proud to have these islands as part of my family heritage.
For Mother’s Day this year, my husband surprised me with tickets to see one of my favorite musicians, Jamie Cullum, in Brooklyn. We spent the night in New York City, and after the concert headed to our favorite Scottish pub, St. Andrews, and enjoyed a flight of whisky. On our way home the next day, we stopped at an impressively stocked liquor store and my dear husband bought me this bottle of Scapa. A very special treat as this single malt does not come cheap!
We enjoyed this bottle over the next few months – as husband and wife after a special dinner, with dear friends in celebration of my 45th birthday, with my parents who were visiting from Canada to cheer me on the New York City Marathon. Each time we pulled the cork and breathed in Scapa’s glorious aroma, the emotions tied to family, history, friendship and love filled our glasses.
This is far more than an empty glass bottle. The whisky that once filled it has been replaced with memories, meaning and happiness.