The MOTHER EARTH NEWS Vacation Tour to Scotland

Recalling the MOTHER EARTH NEWS sponsored vacation tour to Scotland and the people met there.

| November/December 1982

Tales from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS vacation tour To Scotland. (See the photos of the Scotland tour in the image gallery.)

"I invite you to come and share my life . . . and you can't ask for much more than that."
(an Erraid resident)

During MOTHER's Findhorn vacation tour to Scotland last spring, we accepted a gracious invitation, from the folks at the Erraid community, to share their island lifestyle for a week. And, a few days after our arrival, our hosts laughingly admitted that the thought of having 20 American strangers invade their remote, tranquil domain had initially been "quite terrifying".

Not that Erraid's residents are unused to visitors . . . after all—in addition to caretaking this island off the northwest coast of Scotland for its Dutch owners—they run a guest program in connection with the Findhorn Foundation. (See "Findhorn: A Bright Light in a Dark World", MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 71, page 32.) But the Erraid community consists of only eight adults and four children . . . and they'd never had a large tour group drop in on them before.

In fact, we filled their accommodations to capacity, since—in addition to a few out-buildings—there are only ten row houses on the whole island, one of which has been converted into a community kitchen and dining room. (These sturdy stone structures were built, over a century ago, with granite from Erraid's own quarry . . . under the direction of Robert Louis Stevenson's father, Thomas Stevenson, who was a lighthouse and harbor engineer.) But despite their initial trepidation, the Erraid "family" members welcomed us into their comfortable old homes and—in the Findhorn tradition—into their hearts as well.

MOTHER'S travelers, on the other hand, had very much looked forward to this unique visit. During the previous full and busy week at Findhorn, we'd become a close-knit, happy group and were ready for a little relaxation and free time. We'd been told that our stay on Erraid would be "unstructured", but only the most energetic among us questioned how we'd occupy ourselves for a whole week on an island that Stevenson had described (in Kidnapped) as "nothing but a jumble of granite rocks with heather in among". And as it turned out, filling our days with activities was never a problem.

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