I first met Galyna in June last year. She and her son had just arrived in Scotland from Bucha in Ukraine, where she was a teacher.

The horrors that town suffered at the hands of the Russian occupiers are well documented and evidenced. Her personal account I will not share here.

She immediately became a family friend and I found ourselves to be kindred spirits in many ways. She is a passionate lover of nature, and can’t walk through a wood without finding a plant which is edible, or a flower which can be used for medicinal purposes.

Her animal-loving soul meant our dog Ceilidh felt an immediate connection.

Galyna is originally from Mariupol, but what has happened to her native city is just too painful and overwhelming for her to talk about. But her childhood there gave her a lifelong love of the sea, and a trip to Longniddry Bents was the first excursion we took her on. She breathed in the salty air and closed her eyes, the smell of her childhood.

She has found work here teaching and developed a deep love for Scotland, its landscape and nature, its culture and people.

But no matter how much she may love it here, and feel welcome, she can never truly feel at home. Her homeland is Ukraine; her husband and extended family are still there, and so is her heart.

She came here mainly because of her teenage son, to keep him safe. Now that he is making his own way she has decided to return to Ukraine. She knows there are risks; it’s a warzone and missile attacks happen every day.

But she told me, even though it’s physically safer here, it’s emotionally more difficult. She will feel better at home, with her extended family, and her students, whom she has continued to teach online.

And so we arranged a day to say our farewells, which was Sunday just past. It happened to be Mother’s Day in Ukraine, and she was happy to celebrate it with us. Being a loving mother was what brought her here in the first place.

She wanted to go to Traprain Law, for she had heard of the legend of Thenew, the mother of St Kentigern, and how she had miraculously survived the terrible abuse meted out to her by her father King Lot or Loth. She wanted to hear the story where it was said to have happened.

Traprain Law has other, older names, such as Dunpelder, which may mean fort of the spear shafts. This alludes to the fact a great fort once existed on top of the hill, and the remains of its ramparts can still be seen as you climb to the summit.

Myth making is mixed here with archaeological discovery, and although the stories of King Loth are rooted in legend, there is a powerful universal truth in them.

We climbed the hill with Ceilidh on an extended lead due to the Exmoor ponies who now have a home on the law. Despite a forecast of rain, the clouds held it back, and we were able to have lunch on the summit; Galyna’s homemade Borshch, made from onion, carrot, garlic, paprika, beetroot, potato, tomato, cabbage, beans, salt, dill and parsley.

It was more than just a delicious soup. Borshch is an important part of Ukrainian culture and identity.

By making it and sharing it with us she was celebrating who she was. We sat where once there may have been a small medieval chapel, a place of pilgrimage for those who wished to venerate the memory of St Kentigern and his mother. It’s a special place, fitting for the moment.

I told the ancient story as we ate. It’s a tale of a ruthless despotic king, a daughter who was defiant and refused to submit to him, who wanted to live the life of her choosing. In return, the merciless king sent his heavily pregnant daughter to her death over the cliff.

But when she survived this, he had her cast adrift on a coracle on the outgoing tide in the hope the waves would engulf her. This also failed, as her small vessel drifted inland, to arrive on the shores of Fife at Culross.

Thenew stumbled ashore, soaking wet, cold, and exhausted. And there she gave birth to her son. She was looked after by some kind-hearted shepherds, who told the local holy man, St Serf, of her arrival.

He took them in and looked after them, and helped raise Kentigern, who eventually became the patron saint of Glasgow.

This is a very brief summary of course, but I shared the full story with Galyna.

While the story is a product of ancient religious myth-making, the truth in the tale deeply moved her. Much of Galyna’s story remains untold, held tight within her by trauma.

But on the windswept summit of Traprain Law, she released some of the emotion.

For me, Traprain Law, with its legends and history, is a sacred place. And sacred places should be shared with those who share your values.

On Sunday we did just that.