GraysonGoldsmith's Travel Journals


  • 29 years old
  • From Virginia, United States
  • Currently in Findhorn, Scotland

Spring Break on Erraid Island!

This past week was week 8 of our time here at Findhorn and thus officially over our half way point of the semester. Although it is difficult to come to grips with that fact, being able to spend the week on an island off the west coast of Scotland the size of one square mile made the blow a little easier.

Week 8

Scotland Findhorn, Scotland  |  Apr 10, 2011
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 Erraid Island: A Skinny Dipper’s Paradise 

Erraid Island: A Skinny Dipper’s Paradise.

I am sitting alone on top of a high rock overlooking panoramic views of mermaid heaven. There is no horizon, only a misty fading where the ocean supposedly meets the sky, adding to the mysteriousness of this place. With not a soul anywhere in sight, I have utter privacy in the company of the heather, granite, and salt water surrounding me. Contrary to the looks of the white sand and bright blue waters below, I am not in the Caribbean, but rather on a one square-mile island off the west coast of Scotland, manned by maybe a dozen folks and at least a hundred sheep.

This island has literally a thousand years of history, going back to the time of the Vikings--and you can feel it when you step foot on the land. Erraid had a curious way of making me aware of every person that came before me; probably because I was living like most of them by the warmth of a wood burning stove in a stone cottage built 150 years ago and an outhouse.

Erriad is a spiritual anomaly; as Andrea put it, it has a way of working on the shadow. I have been told by several people that Erraid has an effect on everyone who comes there; it has a way of “bringing stuff up”. For me, a person with unusually strong health, I came down hard with stomach issues on two different nights that expelled me both physically and energetically. I took this as a time to learn from what my body was telling me, which was to slow down and allow all the new information I have been constantly receiving since arriving in Findhorn to digest.

The majority of the week was spent deliciously enjoying our free time or in our service departments (gardening, kitchen, candle making, etc.) Monday April 4th was Jess’s birthday and Orlando, one of Erraid’s community members, fixed her the most decadent chocolate orange cake complete with rich chocolate icing and colorful decorations. That night we climbed into the community’s sauna-- that’s right, they built their own sauna—which was like medicine for our tired bodies. On Wednesday, some of our group went to visit the island of Iona which is a larger village just two miles away by sea. Friday the weather was beautiful and some of us enjoyed one last hike on the island to the handing rock and cave. It was such a pleasure living alongside the community members. It was so easy and fun getting to know their small community and they did a really wonderful job making our group feel welcome. Several of us, myself included, vow to return one day.

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  • Week 8

    April 10, 2011
    7 Photos | No Video