This spring has been particularly fitful, full of sudden swings - in temperature and temperaments. Warm days followed by snow, hot days followed by freezing cold rains... The buds emerged but then were covered in frost. At times it almost seemed as if winter was just not going to let go. I suspect it is a common story and part of the natural way of things, despite our collective scoffing and apparent disbelief; change of seasons, change of anything, generally comes with struggle.
One of the questions caught up in this mysterious spring-time longing was the allure of Lagavulin Distillers Edition. Was it really he that was so enticing, or merely the newness of him? Alice Merton sings about this tension - the pull between standing still and moving on - in one of her songs. If this feeling is familiar, pack a bag with a bottle and a glass, and wander off with the whisky as your guide, listening to No Roots.
When I first met him I was enthralled, but much time had passed before I had a second meeting. He stayed elusive for a long while, but as winter finally decided to let go of its hold, I found him again. We went back to my home, where I introduced him to a couple of friends. They were curious to meet this debonair fellow I had talked about, so I poured each of us a dram and he and I began to get reacquainted.
The strong impression I had at our first meeting echoed only faintly in my mind. It had been so long that no specific memories of his personality remained - only a cloaked sense of warmth and fascination. It was almost like meeting him for the first time.
In the company of friends, I shyly brought the glass to my nose. His scent was strong but non-descript. The first sip was creamy and sweet, if a bit flat. A hint of iodine colored the conversation, but not in a bad way.
After adding water I didn't notice a big shift. A taste of ash kept things real and grounded; there was substance to this lad. Something that struck me as disappointing, though, was that the sips did not seem to linger. He was warm and sweet, distinguished and reserved, but the sensations faded soon after the glass left my lips. He had character, and I enjoyed our conversation, but...he did not sate my longing.
One might think that should have been enough to settle the question of what my opinion of him was. But there's a funny thing about longing - it can contain a message on either side of choosing; it can mean that we need to stay, or it can mean that we need to move on. And I'm not entirely sure yet how to tell the difference.
As is often my way, I turn to nature for inspiration and wisdom. The buds and shoots in their winter slumber may not know, through snow or sun, what they are being called to do, but the way ultimately becomes clear. When the time is right, they know which way to grow. No matter how cold the winter, no matter how tumultuous the turning, the spring always comes. I trust it will be the same with the lads.
For now, there's still something about Lag 16 Distillers that calls me back. We'll meet another time, for sure, and despite confusion around what it all means. In this uncertain world we travel, often bemused by longing, it is helpful to remember that the uncertainty will pass, and though it may not resolve as we expect - the longing leads to living, and living is always the right choice.