We have just celebrated our third month here on Erriad… and with Christmas fast approaching, I try to savour each day, seeing this year will move by all too soon..
I can see our children are loving it and thriving, they are connecting with the other adults around them in really lovely ways, my daughter is making candles in the candle studio regularly with Ruth one of the candle makers. My son has been around with a tape measure accompanying Mark or Brian who do some of the maintenance doing this job or other. They have both helped with the seaweed run, the baking of bread and most recently the making of ornaments and decorating of the tree for Christmas.
And the beauty of Erraid is that the island is child-sized. There is only one street of 9 houses which leads to the area down by the pier comprising of the boatsheds, the tool shed, the byre, community house and where we live:Pier Cottage. They can run up and down to the street and the pier by themselves. They can pick up things we need from the community kitchen or pantry, they know where the “shop” is (inside the front porch of house 7) which sells organic chocolate buttons and other assorted treats and they can can run up to the Sanctuary for the daily singing session at 5.30pm all on their own.
And at this time of year, we have all had to get used to the dark winter nights and carrying a torch, even when we set out to do something up on the street at 3pm if we are not home before 4.30pm it’s going to be pitch black it’s quite amazing how dark it gets… with no artifical lighting the plus side of that is how amazing and magnificent it is to look up to the winter stars and really experience the brightness and wonder as they twinkle in the way that stars do, this is rarely seen these days in urban landscapes. I love how immediate it is for us.
I do have to say that the children are missing their friends, home-schooling does mean that they often only have each other to play with and although the two other children on the island are playmates, they go off to the local primary school each day and they are much younger than my eldest. The “deal” is that my kids will be back in their lovely Steiner school and with their friends next August and I notice that they check in occasionally to make sure that’s still the case.
This time limit does, I believe, makes us even more able to savour this experience even more and I personally am soaking up the rustic lifestyle, the chickens and sheep and the cow, the great organic vegetable gardens, the compost toilets, the thrill of boating on and off the Island, the weather as a constant friend who needs a lot of respect and consideration ( I am writing this when all the ferries are cancelled and I am travelling to Findhorn and had to bring my trip forward by 24 hours) and frequent checking with tides and wind, the beauty and challenges of living in a community of different people and nationalities (Dutch, German, and British), the beauty of having visitors to stay with us each week and what they bring, the very apparent and visible spiritual intention of this group of 14 adults and 4 kids have to live a simple and peaceful life…
All in all island life is amazing and I feel truly blessed to have this experience at this time….