Being Guided Part 2: Guts and Curiosity

I was on a small island in the Scottish inner hebrides looking for a holy well.  It was a combination of a small pilgrimage and a mystical spiritual quest.  Most of all, it was curiosity and a sense of being guided.  One of the things I had been learning was how important it is to have a sense of prayerful curiosity.  In order to be guided—in order to find your true purpose, you have to follow your curiosity.  When you have a surprising thought pop in your head, be curious about it, take time to consider it prayerfully.  You may then want to try it out, even if it is a bit tentatively at first. Anyway…

So there I was…looking for  the Well of the Holy Women or Tobar nan Ban Naoimh.

After my first failed attempt at finding this well, I did a bit of research online and found some helpful information although there wasn’t a lot of it. In fact in some places, the name is given as singular ‘Woman’ rather than ‘Women’.   I knew that the well was somewhere in Gruilin where an old abandoned village lied.  There is a website that gives suggested walks with pictures where I found directions to Grulin.  From this website I could tell that I had been going in the right direction.  I had also found a blog post of a woman who found it and gave some landmarks to look out for. I found another blogger who couldn’t find it at all but I wasn’t going to let that discouraged me.

I headed back down the path from Cleadale stopping occassional to wonder and take photos.

Path from Cleadale

Path from Cleadale

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I found this concrete stairs on a woodsy verge and wondered what the story was. I allowed what faeries there might be about to take control of my imagination.  Where would I find myself, if I climbed the stairs?  Would I be transported back in time like in Outlander?  Or to a mystical world?  Would I find there is a house that it leads to after all but one that is not visible unless you climb the stairs? Etc. etc.

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I also took a photo of this ruined building and then discovered a rather sad story behind it on the Isle of Eigg Facebook page.  ‘The story goes….
A boulder rolled down the cliff through the back of this in the 1950’s and as the couple weren’t married at the time (living in sin) it was thought the place was jinxed and has never been lived in since.’

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After an hour, I reached the pier where the small shop and cafe and toilets were (which was a good thing as I still had far to go).

Pier on Eigg

Then it was up the alternate path and through the forest …

 

Forest in Eigg

and accross the field and behind the farmhouse …

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and then a long, scenic walk to Grulin with the Sgurr keeping me company most of the way on my right and the sea on my left.

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Eventually, I saw a huge boulder in the distance.  I knew that one of the landmarks I had to look out for were two boulders so I knew I was getting close.

Boulders at Gruilin

Only problem was, there were more than one pair of boulders.

Gruilin Boulders

I spent the next couple of hours searching and searching for the well…and could’t find it.  In desperation I prayed and asked God to show me the way and at that very instant a fighter plane (or at least I think that’s what it was) flew toward the direction of the two biggest boulders.  I walked partly in that direction but as it appeared to be at the edge of the cliff,  I walked no further. If you read my last post, you know about me and my fear of cliffs and this looked like a sheer drop to me.

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I walked painfully back to my cabin.  I had been walking for about six hours and by my calculations just over 20 miles and the first time I have ever walked as long as that in my life.

Feeling somewhere between defeated and determined, I asked about the well on the Isle of Eigg facebook page:

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Arrgghhh! So close!

I decided to take a day of rest while I ponder whether it was worth spending another day on the same walk and try again.  Decision made, I headed back up the following day. I made it up to Gruilin and began to walk toward the boulders from the left side …extremely cautiously.  I was still worried about falling off that cliff.

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I came around the back of the boulders and discovered there was a gentle slope of several feet before you meet the cliff edge.

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I looked toward the right and spied a patch of watercress surrounded by rocks…

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…and there was the well.  The watercress was growing straight out of it! It was wonderfully quiet there.  The only sounds were the gurgling of the well, the distant waves crashing on the sea, the wind and the sheep nearby bleating.  I thought about the people who lived here long ago and the possibility that there was a ‘holy woman’ or nun or more than one.  I also pondered about its more ancient history as many holy wells have pagan origins before becoming ‘sainted’.  Perhaps, the holy woman was a deeply wise woman who planted the watercress nearby..

I read somewhere that when one finds a holy well, an offering should be left.  Usually, it’s something like a bouquet of flowers.  I had forgotten to bring something so I offered up a song of thanksgiving.  I then ate a raw food bar (and some watercress!) and drank from the well.

Curiosity, determination, guidance and some guts brought me to this place.  However, the purpose was in the journey itself.  I had my fears to face and I had to learn some lessons along the way.

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Being Guided Part 1: Trust Over Fear

While on the Isle of Eigg, I had an eye-opening lesson on the rewards of faith.  Although many of us might profess a faith in God or a higher power, how many of us would be willing to act on it?  How many of us would truly pray, ‘Guide me Lord and I will follow’ and then do just that?

The Isle of Eigg is my personal choice as a place of restoration.  It is sublimely beautiful. It offers within nature what is most popular about Scotland.  You get thistle, heather, ferns and foliage which changes to beautiful autumnal colours in the fall.  You get the crags and huge rocks and lots of wild scenery.  There is hardly any light pollution so you get an abundance of stars at night and beautiful sunrises and sunsets and sometimes (if you’re lucky) the aroura borealis.  You also get migratory birds of various breeds and many sea animals.  You get all that and the sea as well with majestic views of other islands. It is truly paradise….

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sunset on Eigg

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Unfortunately, sometimes things can go wrong like the time a hiker broke her ankle while she was on the Sgurr and they had to get a helicopter to rescue her.  I can’t help thinking that it could have been worse.  I don’t know the full story but she was lucky.  Somehow, someone knew where she was and that she was hurt.  When I was there nearly three weeks ago, I was on my own during off-peak season.  Kids were in school so there were very few vacationers on the island.  Therefore, when I chose to do some hiking and broke my ankle, no one would know.  If I got lost, I would pretty much stay lost for some time…maybe having to spend the night on an area of grazing land…with cows and well…cow pats.  Not a pleasant thought but even more unpleasant is the possibility of falling off a cliff.  I don’t like heights much so it’s no surprise I guess that thoughts would run through my head such as, ‘If I fell off the cliff, how long would it take before they found my body?’  I am a bit embarass to admit this but I confess I thought of this a wee bit too much.  So much so, that even in the midsts of beautiful scenery, I felt a bit of tightness in my chest and I walked very very carefully in some places.  I didn’t want to fall knee deep in cow manure and break my ankle.  I especially did not want to fall off a cliff.

BUT…

I was on on a quest.  Ever since my first visit to Eigg, I had known about this Holy well.  It was on a map of Eigg which I saw on the wall in Tigh Eilidh.  Not many people on Eigg seem to know much about it or cared.  I had vowed that one day I would find it.

So one my second day on Eigg which was a Sunday, I thought it would be a good day to look for the well.  I knew which direction to head towards but didn’t have a route planned.  After about 5 or 6 miles walk, I lost confidence and assumed that I was going in the wrong direction so I decided to postpone looking for the well and just do some exploring.  My anxious thoughts were agitating just below the surface so I asked God to guide my steps.  All I meant was, ‘Please don’t let me get lost, hurt or step in any boggy, sh**-y mess.’ I just wanted to be safe and not have any mishaps.  The weather was beautiful and I was happy just to walk and explore a bit….safely.

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I came out from the woods, and down the path and had an instinct to go through a gate into an open safer looking area.  The weather app on my phone said I was at Galmisdale.  After walking only a short way, this was the view that met my eyes:

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I realized that God had something better in store than just keeping me safe.  He wanted to calm my spirit, to teach me to trust him more and simply to bless me with a gift of staggering beauty and wonder. He wanted to awe me.  I was.  His love never ceases to awe me.

Thought For Thursday: Take Off Your Shoes!

Our Thought for Thursday quote today is from Singer and Songwriter James Taylor:

“I find it a lot healthier for me to be someplace where I can go outside in my bare feet.”

I know  this is such a strange choice for today’s quote but something about it struck a cord within me that I had to take notice and question why.

The reason I suppose is twofold.  One is that there is something about being outside and feeling natural elements under your feet.  Springy moss, crisp grass, squishy sand, the sea.  There is a stronger connection with nature that is felt when your shoes are off.  As James Taylor says, ‘it is healthier’.  Mind, body, spirit healthy.  We often forget the importance of connecting to nature.

The other reason that the quote struck me is that there have been moments in my life where I have had the instinct to take off my shoes. Moments when I was in prayer or have felt a connection with God or my natural surroundings, or when I felt grounded or the need to feel grounded.  Those moments were completely instinctual.  The funny thing was I also noticed that my minister took off her shoes when she began her sermons.  I never asked her about it because I didn’t think it needed an explanation.  Some things can be understood without words.

The quote also made me me think of the bible passage from Exodus.

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

Holy Ground?  What makes a place suddenly holy?  Would the ground have been holy to someone else who happened to come along? Is the altar less holy if a layman stands on it rather than a minister? Many have said that the place with the burning bush was holy because the presence of God was there, but when is God not present?  Often when I take off my shoes,I have the deep impression of Holy Ground.  I humbly believe that all ground can be or ‘become’ holy.  I believe that the ground is holy when  Holiness is instinctively recognized by the person standing there.  In their bare feet.  It is in the moment we plan to come into the presence of God and it is in the moment when we didn’t plan but we are met THERE anyway.  It is just before we become awestruck, when we know our connection with God is about to happen or that something is about to happen but we have not yet realized that it is God or we don’t recognize it as God but we give the experience another name.  We may call what is happening a God thing or inspiration or cosmic phenomenon.  I don’t know how best to explain it but we feel compelled to take off our shoes.  What compells us to do it in nature, compels us to do it when we are entering God’s throne room.  The taking off of our shoes is the same as the bringing our hands together in prayer or closing our eyes.  We don’t know why we do it, but we do.  So if the compulsion comes over you, just do it.  Just take off your shoes.

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Never Miss the Small Things

I find myself both amazed and thoughtful when I look back at photos I have taken and realize that it seemes more beautiful than I remembered.  Wasn’t I there?  Didn’t I actually experience that sun, those clouds, the breeze, the salty sea air, the colours?  Well, maybe I didn’t.  Not fully anyway.  Maybe my mind was engaged in other things.  Maybe I was tired.  Maybe I was thinking about work.  It became apparent to me that I was often missing out on life.

I also came to realize that so often I can be actively engaged in the present moment looking out at the sea or hearing the band play but may not have noticed the small things which have their own beauty.  Things we often take for granted or perhaps things we simply didn’t notice just how beautiful they are.  Take your eyes off the big scenery for a moment and zero in on the small thing. It’s the small things that so often our cameras capture that we may have otherwise deemed as insignificant but they have there own individual beauty.

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If we are not careful, we can overlook so many things in life. Things we can be grateful for. Things we often take for granted.

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We can also be grateful for the healing we receive when we notice beauty in nature. At times it is almost instant the way it takes our head out of a dark place and lightens our spirits.

What I am trying to say, is once in a while…

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…and I know you’re busy….

…but just slow down and really look and take notice and never miss the small things.

Fall-in In Love Again

The colours of Autumn are spectacular in the upper east-coast of the US which is why for most of my life, Autumn  (or Fall) had been my favourite season. I complained to my husband last year that even though England is beautiful in the Spring, it just didn’t cut the mustard colour-wise during the Autumn period. I have made a mistake.

In order to see things more closely, you need to be mindful of where you are and what you are looking at.

 

Woburn Abbey photo by UKGardenPhotos

Woburn Abbey photo by UKGardenPhotos

 

I have discovered that other parts of Great Britain have amazing autumnal colours.

Tor Y Foel Wales Photo Source

Tor Y Foel Wales
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On my recent trip to the Isle of Eigg, Scotland, the colour changes occurred in other plant foliage other than tree leaves.

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I have left this amazing find for last.  On my train ride back, I looked out the window and saw miles and miles of this bright orange grass.  My brain could not get around this…orange grass?

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Sorry for the picture quality.  This was taken with my camera phone through a dirty window.  This however, is not farm land.  These are not crops.

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This is indeed a type of grass!

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It is called Rannoch Fire Grass and it is usually green but gradually turns red in the Autumn.

I have now fallen in love with Autumn again!

Saying Goodbye (for now) to Eigg

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.

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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.

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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 DSCN1966_peand 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…

 

Urban Highlander (Or a Former New York Yank in Rural Scotland)

The Isle of Eigg is home of the famous ‘Singing Sands’ beach.  Basically, the sand is made of quartz crystals and when you shuffle along it makes a chirping sound.  The drier the sand, the better the sound.  This is Scotland however and though I heard the sand sing in August when the sand was still rather damp, this time around in October I could procure no sound at all.  Still, the beach with its rough and wild paradisal beauty is well worth visiting. That is why one morning I left the bothy at 8:30 and made my way there again.

It is simply breath-taking.

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I cannot describe the elation I felt when I spotted the familiar Welly-boot Bridge DSCN1830and the sheer joy of being back on that shore even if the sand didn’t sing for me this time. I spent a good hour gazing through my binoculars and taking photos in total bliss.  DSCN2088

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I visited Singing Sands beach several times in the past and found my way there easily enough again. Which makes what happened a bit strange I guess for I managed to get lost coming back. Perhaps the beauty of the scenery played against my usual directional impairment.

Sheep?  Did I pass sheep coming here?

Didn’t I pass these ferns?  I am sure I passed these ferns.

Wait!  I am sure I went over this stone wall…or did I go over this stone wall?

The trouble I had with finding my way back wasn’t because I didn’t know which direction to walk. The Isle of Eigg is small and the bothy was not that long of a distance away from Singing Sands. However, there was more than one route I could take.  The route I ended up on seemed to want to take me through somebody’s farm.  Perhaps it is because I was brought up a city girl but I just thought it would be rude of me to trespass…and I dunno maybe dangerous?  I kept envisioning old-time American movies I had seen of men with rifles protecting their land from trespassers (and Charlie had made a few comments about wanting to shoot things and I never knew if it was in jest or not).  The way I had always taken had been less cumbersome and had less boggy areas.   I didn’t want to go by just any route, I wanted to go via the same route I had previously taken which didn’t bother anyone and was less of a hassle.

After trying different directions, I decided to go back toward Singing Sands to get my bearings.  Only yet again I was coming at it from a slightly different direction and managed to fall going over some slippery rocks…into a cow pat.

Luckily, it was just one of my water-proof hiking shoes which went into the cow pat. I decided I was going to have to go back to the beach to clean my shoe.  Maybe that decision made me further careless as I then managed to get both my feet ankle-deep in boggy mud while beginning to lose my balance and caused me to instinctively reach out a hand for support… on a barbed wire fence.  My fingers were now bleeding and I was muddy and embarrassed and hoping that after cleaning my water-proof hiking shoes I’ll be able to find my way back to the bothy without passing anyone.

I washed my shoes by the shore as best as I could but as luck would have it (and I was having none that day) I misjudged the tide and managed to get my water-proof hiking shoes completely submerged.

After cleaning my shoes, I made my way back to the bothy with the help of some volunteers who I happened to come across.  It was now about 1:30 and I hadn’t had breakfast and I looked a state but I was glad to be back and not stranded in a land full of cow manure!

My state of mind at that point was one of practicality.  My shoes had gotten muddy again on my way back and my jeans and socks were muddy as well.  So I washed them and laid them out to dry.  I started a fire in the stove, made some lunch as there was no point having breakfast at this time and because I intended to have a much-earned glass of wine.  I think I had two.

After a conversation with a fellow blogger (dhammafootsteps) who is Buddhist about many paths which possibly lead to the same direction, I was able to reflect upon the day’s mishap in a more thoughtful light.  Why do we choose a particular spiritual path? Do we avoid other paths because of fears we may have?  Are we afraid a different choice might offend or lead us down boggy paths?  Did I choose my path because I thought it was ‘cow pat’ free?

Actually, I think I chose my path in spite of the cow pats I expected to find.  After a while, I learned to dance around the cow pats.  After more time, I realize there were never any cow pats to begin with. I wish that had been true on the Isle of Eigg that day though.

The Best In Whole Food

Sometimes I am very aware of the fact that I exist as a body, soul and spirit.  Logically, I know I am one person operating in each of these forms in unity.  Yet I know as well that each part of me can be reached distinctly and that each can affect the other.  Last week, I went for a walk in an unusually sunny day for late September in England and I realized that all parts of me were being fed at once.  The sunshine. The trees.  The clouds.  The little King Charles Spaniel which walked past me all served in nourishing my soul, my spirit and my body.  Tension melted away when I hadn’t realized I was tense.  I was reminded that joy, peace and love were within…and yet fed from without.  Suddenly, I had a spring to my step.  Food for the body.

What is it about nature that feeds us so completely?  It is like the best whole food in the world.  We crave it even when we don’t realize it.  When we are in it, we are nourished and refreshed.  Food for the soul.

Spend time in nature longer and the joy grows deeper.  The love expands.  People are drawn to us and we are drawn to love them.  It is like having a spring which is overflowing within us which we feel compel to share with others.  Food for the spirit.

When I visited the Isle of Eigg two months ago I felt connected to the place and thought perhaps I am meant to live there.  A few weeks later I watched an interview with time-lapse photography expert Louie Schwartzberg.  In the interview LS stated that when we are in a beautiful place of nature, we feel ‘connected’.  So I guess it wasn’t ‘meant to be’ per se but how all human beings truly are.  With each of us, it may be a different place of beauty where we feel this connection.  I don’t fully understand why in an intellectual way, but I know that from time to time we all need it…to be immersed in natural beauty.  Anyway, in less than two weeks time, I am returning to Eigg for a one week stay.

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Isle of Eigg Part 2

 

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Eigg is a place for families and for those who value solitude.  It is a place for those who find perfect bliss in gazing upon the majestic in nature and listening to the music of silence. It is for those who…

–love the sound of the ocean waves crashing against the shore

–love the sound of brooks babbling

— love to explore and discover

–love trekking and climbing steep slopes

–love wildlife

As for me, my time in Eigg has offered all this and more. I have spent wonderful moments here with my husband and each of my teen-aged children as well as spent some time alone.  The Isle of Eigg has been on my bucket list for a few years ever since I read about it in a magazine.  I wanted to discover the ‘Singing Sands’, the quartz beach where the sands chirp when you shuffle your feet in it.

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I new that Eigg would be a place of beauty and serenity but I discovered more than I expected…

I had a happy shock when I realized that I could walk for several hours up and down slope-y paths and not feel tired or achy afterwards.  It was a phenomenon that I couldn’t get my head around at first.  To begin with, I am flat-footed.  I get constant back, shoulders and neck pains.  Generally, if I walk for an hour, I tend to come home feeling exhausted and achy so that I feel the need to take some pain relief (or a glass of wine) and put my feet up.  Not so on Eigg.  I even walked one day for six miles in a downpour and though I found it tiring going uphill, when it was over, I was absolutely fine.  No aches, no exhaustion.  I puzzled at this and have come to the conclusion that it is the combination of purer air and the salt from the ocean.  I have been to beaches before of course but on Eigg there is green energy and only a few cars so very little pollutants.

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The second thing I wasn’t expecting is a bit hard for me to explain.  I feel as if my spirit has found its resting place.  There is a sort of spiritual recognition about this place.  I feel like I have come home.

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So you see, I HAVE to come back here.  Also, if any of you decide to visit Eigg, one week is not enough!  There are so many walks and places to discover.  I have only explored a bit of the eastern side of Eigg.

Here’s another fact for all you Tolkien lovers: Charlie the taxi-driver told us that Tolkien used to stay here. Across the sea from Eigg is the Isle of Rum.  We think the mountains and inactive volcano may have been the inspiration for Mount Doom.  What do you think?

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Isle of Eigg Part 1

—-Isle of Eigg

The beautiful Isle of Eigg is located in the Scottish Inner Hebrides.  What it lacks in size (about 5 1\2 miles long by 3 miles wide), it gains in immense natural beauty.  Population here is less than 100. The island boasts of having nearly 200 different varieties of birds and electricity powered from renewable sources (wind, sun and water).

When we first arrived, we headed over to the shop to pick up the groceries I had ordered a week and a half before. The Shop-keeper introduced us to the Island’s only taxi driver, Charlie and told him where we were staying.  Here on Eigg, everyone seems to know where every house is and who owns it.  So we got into the taxi and Charlie entertained us by telling us some of the local gossip and who lived where.  We drove down a narrow road which we were informed was the only road –the M1 (with a wink).

Charlie pointed out a rather large and pretty house, “That is where the Headmistress lives.  She is about a hundred–retiring this year.” He further informed us that the school has only five students currently and pointed out the school house. He showed us the ‘swap house’ where locals can leave things they no longer need for other residents who may have use of them.  He pointed out a chapel which was good for taking cover in if you happen to be caught out in the rain whihc he said was something he has had to do from time to time, which are the only times he goes to church (not being a church-goer). Charlie was a wealth of information.  The last place he showed us was his own house which was close to where we were staying in Tigh Eilidh.  He said we could either phone him or knock on his door if we needed a cab.  The only food shop is located by the pier which is 4 miles from our accommodation so his service is pretty valuable to us.

The house is lovely with spectacular views although I guess any place on Eigg would have spectacular views. Still the photos I had seen of the place had not done it justice.

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Behind the house, you can see what Charlie told us was “the hand of God pointing to heaven”.

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Here are some views from the windows of the house:

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Outside the house there is this bench which I sat on to write yesterday.

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Here is what the plaque reads:

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I don’t know who Stuart Millar was but I agree with him!

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On our first day, we took a little walk and discovered that just a few feet from the house down a tiny obscure dip off the road was a bench by St. Columba’s well.  St.Columba was an Irish missionary who brought Christianity to Scotland.  The small area is completely hidden from the road, surrounded by tall reeds, thistles, buttercups and other wild plants.

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There was a mug lying on the bench which I first thought was left there accidentally by someone having a cup of tea or coffee by the well.  Yesterday, I went back there and saw the same mug placed now upside down nearer to the well which made me realize that someone has left it there to drink from the well.

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I hope the cup was meant for anyone and that the owner of it didn’t mind as I did use it to drink from the well.  I enjoyed the solitude by the well …until I discovered I wasn’t quite alone as there were a multitude of ‘midges’ and I thought it wise not to stay too long.  I am sure I will be back though.