When this Open Day invitation to Holy Isle popped up on my facebook, I immediately tagged Lynne. She was born on Arran, but she had never been on Holy Isle! The open day was the perfect opportunity for a visit.
“Saturday June 2nd Holy Isle Open Day 2018 Come and Visit the Holy Isle Centre for World Peace and Health. Meet the volunteer community and learn about the Holy Isle project.”
We had to travel by the small ferry from Lamlash over to the island, so we began our day with a short bus journey from Whiting Bay to Lamlash. The Ferry offered continuous sailings all day, so we climbed straight onto the ferry and about 12 minutes later we were walking up the jetty to be welcomed onto the island.
“Five Senses” Meditation in the Mandala Ornamental Garden was about to begin, so we joined a group and were treated to a wonderful experience of meditation and appreciation of the wonderful gardens, guided by Sid and Sarah. The gardens contain an amazing variety of plants, water features, bridges, statues, plaques and fairies. The plants have been donated, plaques have been written by volunteers, and gifts to enhance the gardens have been included over the years. We did not take pictures of the gardens it did not seem appropriate at this time. It would be impossible to do justice to the wonderful gardens and experience if I tried to describe it. But the sounds in the garden were wonderful. Even the excited cries from children finding fairies in the adjacent garden, could not mask the background sounds of bird song, the babbling water, or the bees and insects flying from flower to flower busily going about their business, the occasional crunch of small stones underfoot as people moved positions.
There was one more ongoing sound, it did not distract from the experience. It was the sound of guests enjoying a superb spread of organic refreshments. Lynne and I joined them. A very welcome glass of water cooled us down from the heat of the gardens, followed by lunch and lots of chat with volunteers and other visitors ( we knew quite a lot of them, well ours is a pretty small island too)
Next we set off heading south on the costal walk. This Soay sheep was enjoying the sun. We saw lots under the trees, alongside Saanen goats and Eriskay ponies all of these lived here long before the Buddhist community.
Although it was overcast the day was very hot, we decided to walk to St Molaise cave.
” Holy Isle has a long spiritual history, stretching back to the 6th century. It is endowed with an ancient healing spring, the hermit-cave of a 6th Century monk, St Molaise, and evidence of a 13th Century Christian Monastery.”
Lynne rests in the heat with stunning views of Arran The cave where St Molaise lived has Viking runic graffiti carved into the walls.
A plaque is sited beside the cave. It is the same style as another on the path. “Judgement Rock”
It was now time to return to catch the ferry, the sun had broken through and it was getting hotter by the minute. We were not complaining but the ferry journey was wonderful with a lovely cool sea breeze. Our bus was not due for 15 minutes so we sat on a nearby bench and enjoyed the view.
We had a wonderful day and we will be going again for a visit later this summer.
Thank you for reading Barbara and Lynne