Coun­try Mouse

Slow liv­ing

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

FINDHORN: what im­ages it con­jures up! A fine salmon river. A bay on the Mo­ray Firth be­tween miles of pine for­est and pris­tine beach. A fish­ing vil­lage with a pop­u­lar pub. A ‘spir­i­tual com­mu­nity, ecov­il­lage and in­ter­na­tional cen­tre for holis­tic ed­u­ca­tion’. This last, the Findhorn Foun­da­tion, was started in 1962 by three hote­liers guided by an ‘in­ner di­vine source’.

Vis­it­ing re­cently, we found it co­cooned be­tween the fences of an RAF com­pound and a vast ex­panse of gorse dunes. A red sign im­plored us to ‘STOP wor­ry­ing’, so we dis­em­barked and ex­plored on foot, ad­mir­ing the ‘eco­log­i­cally be­nign’ homes made of re­cy­cled tyres, straw bales and whisky bar­rels, new, mul­ti­coloured ter­raced hous­ing and a build­ing ded­i­cated to singing.

In the shop, New Age mer­chan­dise jos­tled with books such as Rise Sis­ter Rise: A Guide to Un­leash­ing the Wise, Wild Woman Within. Yet, for all its pro­gres­sive ways, Findhorn felt cu­ri­ously de­tached from real modern life. Watch­ing the groups of tie-dye-smocked women sit­ting about as their chil­dren played, I felt we’d re­turned to a sim­pler, older age. I can’t say I found it par­tic­u­larly spir­i­tual, but there was plenty of ev­i­dence of ‘Work is Love in ac­tion’ in the abun­dant gar­dens teased from the sandy soil. MM

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