Getting together

Some 600 million years ago, in the late Precambrian Period, the northern and southern parts of the British Isles were separated by a vast ocean. Scotland was then close to the equator, on the edge of a huge continent called Laurentia, while southern Britain was not far from the Antarctic Circle at the edge of Gondwana, another colossal super-continent. This is the romantic tale of how they came together . . .

We’re a couple, we’re an item, like we’ve never been apart.
But it hasn’t been an easy ride, especially at the start
When five thousand miles of ocean (more or less) got in the way –
Well, it made things pretty difficult and kept our love at bay.

Have you heard it said that, strangely, total opposites attract?
Well, they surely did with us, for it’s a well established fact
That Laurentia, where my Scottie lived, was tropical and hot,
While I languished near the southern Pole – a God-forsaken spot.

We were wild and we were eager in those late Precambrian times,
But it hurt to be apart, for we were youngsters in our primes!
For a hundred million years we had no hope of ever meeting,
Then an Ordovician turn-around soon got our hearts a-beating.

There was something – was it Fate? – that started drawing us together,
And we felt that old excitement when we knew it was forever:
Old Iapetus, the ocean, which was all that stood between us,
Very slowly started closing (could it be the Gods had seen us?)

In my eagerness, I left my home, Gondwana, far behind;
I was part of Avalonia now, with one thing on my mind.
I knew patience was a virtue, but my eyes welled up with tears,
For I’d have to make it stretch another thirty million years . . .

It took ages, but I made it. As the ocean slowly closed
And my heart began to flutter, my Scottish laird proposed:
“Let us spend our lives together!” “Yes, of course, my love,” I sighed.
As our bodies met, they set off hot volcanic fires inside.

Our emotions matched the mountains that arose when we collided;
And, once joined in geo-wedlock, we would never be divided.
So it hasn’t been an easy ride, especially at the start –
But we’re happy joined together and no-one shall make us part.

[Maps: www.scotese.com]
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