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