Yes, I have written more than a few posts about the enchanting Isle of Eigg and maybe I am a wee bit obsessed with Eigg in a honest-to-goodness healthy sort of way. Can I try and explain why? Do I even need to? Some may understand, some will not. Although I am not a decent photographer by a long way, I think my pictures show that Eigg is a beautiful place.
My photos don’t do it justice and funny enough, no one else’s photographs do either. I have seen some photographs taken by amazing photographers and those reveal only a bit of the beauty of Eigg. The reason I think is this: Eigg is a place of more than just visual beauty. Eigg is a place of experiential beauty. It may not be for everyone. One reason, I suppose is that when you are there, you bring yourself there too.
There is a sense of freedom on the Isle of Eigg. I got the distinct impression from my conversation with Charlie that the human residents also enjoy this sense of freedom. Yes, they are still Scottish but when I asked Charlie about it he said they feel a bit separate too from the rest of Scotland. Some rules don’t seem to apply on Eigg such as wearing your seat-belt in the car and dogs being on leads. On the other hand, there are no police on Eigg as there never seems to be any crime. People who live on Eigg, live here because they love the place. They don’t need much because there is natural beauty all around them. Life is slower here. Charlie talked about being able to sleep late most mornings. People seem to have more time to breathe, live and create. There are several creative individuals on the island, like Charlie’s wife Libby who makes beautiful felt artworks, All About Willow who supplied willow baskets for the TV series Outlander and A’Nead Hand Knitwear makers of beautiful cobweb lace products. Obviously, this slow-paced life is balanced with lots of hard work as well. Many of the locals are farmers or simply keep a few chickens and grow their own produce. I am attracted to the idea of living here. It isn’t for everyone and it has its own difficulties what with having only one shop and often having to do without if the shop has run out of something. However, I sense people simply go with the flow and live life with less care and more child-like freedom than those on the main land. I think I certainly would if I lived here. As an outsider, I am not privy to any other acts of rebellion the islanders get up to but I get the feeling they have some (though I am sure quite innocent) good times here.
My last day on Eigg came after several days of non-stop rain. I looked out through my bothy window and saw the Isle of Rum once more after not being able to see it because of mist and rain. I quickly got on my shoes and went outside breathing in what felt like freshly washed clean air. I was relieved that the rain had stopped because that would mean my ferry wouldn’t be cancelled (or so I thought). I went to Laig Bay and was met by Faolan. It was a joy to spend time with my favorite dog on Eigg. As usual for Faolan, he left me first and went back home. I saw him again when I was passing his house. He was behind his fence and I went over and stroked his face and looked into his beautiful amber eyes and said goodbye.
On my way back from the beach, I looked over at Rum to see a rainbow rising from the sea right in front of it. I remembered that a rainbow is a symbol of promise and I stopped and admired the rainbow and vowed that I would return to Eigg.
While on Eigg, I had some adventures and mishaps and joys and surprisingly many teachable moments. I followed where I was led and learned when I was taught and on my last day thought this was the end of such adventures. I think now, it was only the beginning…
I’d never heard of the Isle of Eigg before, but it looks beautiful. Thanks for introducing me to it; I hope I can visit one day!
Please do! It is an awesome place!
Eigg is a wonderful place and feel your sadness in leaving. I hope to return soon.
Maybe it’s because there’s something about islands… for many years I used to visit the Ilse of Skye and knew a number of people there. Some your Western Scotland outreach wind and rain and softness too reminds me of Skye. Thanks for this