Cawdor and Findhorn

Our next stop on the way is Cawdor, which is situated close to Inverness. The Cawdor Castle has been linked by Shakespeare to Macbeth, so for former English teachers this is a treat. Afterwards we find a lovely B&B place in Piperhill, a small village close by.
The next day we go to the Findhorn community, a somewhat alternative spiritual centre close to the village of that name. We just happen to hear some very evocative and haunting singing when we enter the café, so we postpone our coffee to go and see what it is. We enter this big pentagular building and witness this group of people taking part in a morning meditation with songs, recitals and movement. All this is led by the woman in light blue dress with the harmonica.
All the songs are very simple and contain meditative and existential messages, and the movements reflect the contents of the songs. A very moving experience to witness this meditation.
After this there is time to have a coffee in the café which is part of the same building. We have found out that there will be a guided tour at 2:00 pm, so here we are with the other visitors and our guide, Celia.
The origin of the Findhorn community was spititual gardening, back in the 1960s. Somehow they were able to make flowers, plants and trees grow in this area. The rumour spread, and it has now also become an ecological village. In the middle of the greenery Else finds this shrine with a Buddha figure.
Celia, our guide, shows us the various examples of alternative energy-saving houses. The prices of these houses are in the vicinity of £ 300,000, so it takes some enthusiasm and idealism to get started.
On the way Celia wants to show us her favourite house. It is the Meditation House, a low bungalow-like stonebuilding with grass on its roof. Inside it she tells us her own story: 13 years ago she and her husband ran a fitness centre in Devon, but the workload and the stress got on her nerves. She became unhappy and cried all the time. Then one night in a dream she saw a hut that looked like something from Bedrock, the Flintstones' village. And a voice that told her to go home. At that time she did not understand her dream, but a few years later they happened to visit Findhorn, and when she saw the Meditation House, she understood the meaning of the dream, and she and her husband are now members of the Findhorn community.
After the guided tour, we head back for our car, and lo and behold, we just happen to meet Barbara Swetina, the organiser of the dance and music. I tell her how I was impressed by the meditation and she willingly poses for a photo with her friend. After this eventful day we need to relax at the Cawdor Tavern.
Since we have acquired a liking for cider, we find it good idea to have a glass before our meal. And I must say, it tastes good.
The next day we say goodbye to our very friendly hosts, Margaret and David Murray. We have had good opportunity to talk with them about the area and Findhorn. We also say goodbye to their cat.
 Else has read something about cairns, that is upright stones and graves, so we find a very good example of this sort of ritual places near Cawdor: Clava Cairns. It is interesting to find oneself in something that was part of these activities 5,000 years ago. Burials and measurement of the position of the moon. This fertile soil has been a farming area for a very long time.