Synchronicity Guided us to the EcoVillage Findhorn

Synchronicity Guided us to the EcoVillage Findhorn

Brilliant sun rays beamed down on the North Sea, shimmering gold through a chill early May evening. It was near dark and we’d just cycled all day to reach Findhorn, a quaint community east of Inverness. Now we stood on a beach looking for a wild camp spot ahead of our intention to visit EcoVillage Findhorn the next day.

Someone approached as we stood looking over the sea, greeting us kindly and asking about our journey. Our bikes tend to draw attention and it’s always a joy to meet people through them.

As a dear cycle host once told us,

the bikes...are a way in.

This is how we met Christopher and Max. Engaging in a warm conversation about our journey, adventure and cycle touring. Intrigued they asked, “Where are you staying tonight?”

“Well, we were looking for a spot in these dunes, do you have any suggestions..?” Our response drifted off with the sea breeze. At first Christopher tried giving a few ideas about where to go in the dunes, but then he paused.

“You know what,” he said, “I know of a better place.”

“Uh oh, here we go…” Max said with amusement, as if preparing for a long explanation.

A few more words later and astonishment sparked within us.

Our new friends revealed they live at EcoVillage Findhorn, the exact place we’d cycled all this way to visit. Now we stood on a nearby beach and so happened to meet two people who invited us to stay there.

The universe works in mysterious ways.

Christopher gave us directions and we hurried after them, getting a bit lost, but then he found us and guided us the rest of the way.

Entering the village felt like cycling through a portal. The outside world was gone and all around us stood uniquely designed homes and gardens of abundance. The light was fading quickly so Christopher led us through a small forest into a more wild part of the community called the Hinterland. This area is supported by its own organization called the Findhorn Hinterland Trust.

Here he introduced a few more residents, including Jonathan Caddy, the son of two of the original founders, Eileen and Peter Caddy, who were joined by Dorothy Maclean in the founding of the EcoVillage.

We felt grateful for their welcoming energy.

Set back in a small forest were a few wild pitches for campers and Christopher also showed us the nearby burial ground for residents and other special features of the site. The trust leads retreats rooted in a philosophy of nature connection, inspiring people to reflect inward and join in talking circles.

Within the span of twenty minutes we’d gone from clueless as to where we’d sleep that night, to gazing upon a perfectly planned and thoughtfully designed campsite in a tranquil forest.

Our hearts were bursting with gratitude and awe.

That night a cat came to our tent, meowing her desire to enter our cozy space. We immediately felt at home. She greeted us often throughout our stay. Christopher told us about her story the next morning, when we joined him for breakfast. We loved the mini-garden tour around some of the dwellings and appreciated a warm shower too.

Thank you Christopher for introducing us to the EcoVillage and treating us so kindly!

Over the next two days we explored EcoVillage Findhorn and met many residents who helped us weave the story of this visionary place together. We learned that the community is held within the greater embrace of the Findhorn Foundation. From the website, they state:

“The Findhorn Foundation is a dynamic experiment where everyday life is guided by the inner voice of spirit, where we work in co-creation with the intelligence of nature and take inspired action towards our vision of a better world. We share our learning and way of life in experiential workshops, conferences and events that take place within a thriving community and ecovillage.“

The site we were on is just one of many initiatives to create alternative ways of living in harmony with the Earth. The foundation hosts other sites in Scotland, leads workshops, creates educational resources and serves as a model for other eco villages across the globe.

We spent two days on a self-guided tour through the EcoVillage, meeting many friendly residents who told us the story of the place along the way.

As stated on the village's website:

  • "The Findhorn Ecovillage is a tangible demonstration of the links between the spiritual, social, ecological and economic aspects of life and is a synthesis of some of the very best of current thinking on human habitats. It is a constantly evolving model used as a teaching resource by a number of university and school groups as well as by professional organisations and municipalities worldwide.
  • We are a founder member of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), a non-profit organisation that links together a highly diverse worldwide movement of autonomous ecovillages and the headquarters of Gaia Education, provider of sustainability education in 42 countries promoting thriving communities within planetary boundaries.”

We began our first day with a map from an on-site shop, which was full of eco-friendlier products and artisan work. From here we’ll let the photos Steven created lead the way. Meanwhile you can learn all the incredible details of this village by visiting the Findhorn Foundation website.

It was a joy meeting Jonathan Caddy, current Chair of the Findhorn Hinterland Trust and George Paul, a very committed volunteer.
The original caravan of the founding members is still part of the community, nestled in a beloved garden.

It’s remarkable to think EcoVillage Findhorn began with a young family living in a single caravan on a seemingly-barren site in the early 1970s. Co-founding member Eileen Caddy listened with an inner spiritual voice guiding the creation of the community, which has drawn thousands of visitors from all over the world.

Today, EcoVillage Findhorn:

  • "is at the heart of the largest single intentional community in the UK
  • is a pioneering ecovillage that evolved at The Park from 1985
  • is a major centre for holistic learning serving thousands of visitors each year from around the world
  • has an ecological footprint that is around half the national (UK) average
  • features more than 100 ecologically-benign buildings
  • supplies energy from four wind turbines
  • boasts a biological Living Machine waste water treatment system
  • installed a 250kW biomass boiler in 2010 to serve the central Park area, reducing carbon emissions by around 80 tons a year
  • includes numerous solar water heating systems
  • is part of a comprehensive recycling system
  • is the publisher of the UK’s first technical guide to ecological housing
  • has a share-issuing community co-operative and a local currency
  • is served by a car-sharing club that includes zero-emissions electric vehicles"

Source: Press page on EcoVillage Findhorn

Journey on through the visual tour of the EcoVillage.

The Forest Garden

One of our favorite parts of the EcoVillage is the forest garden, where we met Draeyk watering and communing with the plants. We shared a warm conversation with this inspiring Earth caretaker and he offered profound insights about life and connecting with the spirits of nature. He listened with such openness and shared with equal harmony, welcoming us into the sacred space.

Upon saying goodbye, Steven invited a moment to ground into the purity of this present moment. With arms around one another, we looked eye to eye and shared gratitude, resonating deeper than our physical bodies. The moment vibrated inherently across generations, intertwining our double helix's into one spirit energy. Our glistening tears free-fell fearlessly from love, harmonized with the garden's nurturing ambience.

As we walked away with no words spoken, the silence was as loud as an orchestral symphony crescendo that rings beyond time itself, infinitely beyond.

We invite you to learn from his YouTube channel, beginning with an introduction to the forest garden

We also loved the composting toilet at the wild campground in the Hinterlands.
The EcoVillage is full of thoughtful touches and words of love.

While wandering through the gardens of the EcoVillage we met Geoff, who is walking around the world and greeted us with pure joy and curiosity. We were moved by his humility and kind aura, someone who listens closely and makes you feel at ease. His journey struck a chord within us and we felt like kindred spirits, looking up to his courage and ability to flow so freely and yet grounded in the world. Geoff has wandered through deserts and across wide wild landscapes, even when advised not to, believing simply in his footsteps and path forward.

The burial ground where many members of the EcoVillage are laid to rest.

Thank you EcoVillage Findhorn for having us, we will forever carry what we learned and recall our visit with great fondness.

Wait hold on! That was a lot to take in right..? Well, just before we left still riding the crescendo wave, we were sitting having lunch when a wise wonder wizard approached us curious about our bikes...

Written by Karla Sanders @karlasandersart | Edited by Steven Tiller | Photos by Steven Tiller @steventiller