Skye sized Room

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We all need enough space and room to grow and breathe. Here on the North East tip of the Isle of Skye you will find more room than you will ever need. The landscape of the Quiraing is spacious and surprising, and even on days when the car park of this remote range of rocks has no spaces left, you will find yourself alone as you walk out along the narrow path. This vast landscape swallows people in its folds of grass and rock, and you can see for miles across open unpopulated land. If the clouds roll in you will feel utterly absorbed by the mist, cut off from the rest of life, in this alien and supernatural landscape.

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Room like this can be disorientating, when we are used to things having edges and limits. Here it seems that the sky and the earth are the limit, and they roll on endlessly in all directions. There are times in my life when I find limitless space like this especially helpful and healing. Somehow in this vastness I can come back to the centre, the core of my being. Sitting and breathing and being within these mountains slows down my senses, which may have become overloaded and overstimulated by multiple demands. There is no ask here in the heart of nature, other than to be and to experience, and what an experience. My senses are filled to brimming with natures wonders, the still rocks and the silent air, the soft grass and the light reflecting water. The call of eagles from high within the cliffs above, and the gentle calls between lambs and their mothers on the slopes below help to place me.

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When I walk, it requires all my attention to place my feet on this tiny narrow ribbon of a path which clings impossibly to the steep slopes. Walking with full awareness, deeper and deeper into this magical landscape on the edge of the earth, my senses hold my mind away from thinking and planning. To feel this space and it’s effect on my body and mind is a wonderfully exhilarating experience. I can find myself again, out among the rocks and sky, and it’s as though I’m walking deeper into my own centre. Fear and joy are close companions, and we walk together through the heart of the Quiraing.

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There is room here to come into close contact and connection with nature and her wildness. The rocks and green slopes seem to come alive, each one showing their unique character, and it’s effect on me. Some sights are so beautiful I’m left breathless in awe, filled with smiles. Others are weird and challenging, and I feel my heart beat faster as I cling to the slender path, moving further and further from the known and familiar. Yet in this movement I come closer to myself.

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Sometimes we have to get lost in order to find our true neglected natures again. There is room here on the edge of Skye to lose yourself in nature and to recover your centre. To let go of your preconceptions about yourself and your edges, and to come back into contact with your deep potential. From here can come the fresh vibrant growth, of a life rediscovered, of a self reconnected. We all need the room to find ourselves and to re centre within our busy lives. This is my room, what does yours look like?
Find other rooms at the WP weekly challenge.

For the fact lovers, these photos are taken on the Quiraing, on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. The name Quiraing (in Gaelic, Cuith-Raing) comes from Old Norse Kvi Rand, which means Round Fold. In the days of cattle raids, cattle were driven up here to keep them hidden, but well fed on the lush grass and flowers of the mountains. The strange rock formations are the result of huge landslides over an unimaginable stretch of time. The earth here is still moving and the road up to the Quiraing has to be repaired and remade each year due to the ongoing landslide. There is something sacred and supernatural about this piece of earth, and some people are seized with inexplicable fear while walking here.

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About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I live by the banks of the River Esk near Edinburgh, Scotland. I currently share my home with my husband, my son, my nephew and a collection of cats and dogs. I am forever snapping shots of things which catch my eye. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! I guess I'm a mixed up kind of girl. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 10 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist, and I'm employed 3 days a week as a Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Cancer Centre.
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60 Responses to Skye sized Room

  1. Pingback: Acceptance | mindfulness. authenticity. introversion.

  2. restlessjo says:

    I feel like I just sat awhile and gazed with you, Seonaid. I tried hard not to disturb your peace but I needed a rest after that dizzying path. You share the very best of Scotland so emotively. It’s always a pleasure to come here. :)

  3. Room to breathe ! Wonderful!

  4. Pingback: A tale of two posts | Welcome to Pairodox Farm

  5. ladyfi says:

    What spectacular solitude!

  6. LB says:

    I am one of the fact lovers and I’m fascinated! This room seems endless, beautiful, and soothing in a large way. Awesome!

    • Oh I’m alwYs happy to find another fact lover…..I love to dream and create, but facts give me and my inspirations bones and grounding in the world. Facts can be terribly inspiring :-)

  7. Tina Schell says:

    Wow Seonaid. I’m not sure which is more impressive, this amazing place, your photos of it, or your lovely descriptions of it. I’ve never heard of Skye but Scotland is on my bucket list and now Skye is too!!

    • Delighted you enjoyed the combination Tina. I’ve been posting quite a few photos from Skye and the Wester Ross mainland on the NW of Scotland. It has some wonderful scenery, which changes daily in ever shifting light and cloud, and some of the oldest rocks on earth!

  8. Pingback: A Room the Size of a Canyon: Canyon Memories (3) | The Beauty Along the Road

  9. colonialist says:

    Open to the Skye, all right!
    Oh, how did we miss all those amazing bits?

    • I think you need to come back, but give yourself plenty of time. I think sometimes the rush to squeeze Skye and Wester Ross into two or three days means that only the surface gets skimmed,and you end up spending most time driving!

  10. twoscamps says:

    Oh, such a beautiful place, Seonaid! Plenty of room to roam, and the sky your ceiling. My kind of “room”. :)

  11. Julie says:

    This was such a beautiful journey, Seonaid. The photos were breathtaking, and your words made me stop and reflect on what my room looks like and where I need to be to find my centre. Thank you!

    • Thanks Julie, finding a way and a place to help us slow down and re centre is such an important aspect of life. From our centre we can find nourishment and inspiration, to flow back out into life renewed :-)

  12. Rachael Charmley says:

    I think others have already expressed what I feel. Thank you for sharing your deepest thoughts and this landscape – which always inspires, is always beautiful, and always holds me safe. x

    • Rachael, what a gorgeous comment, it’s lovely to hear you feel inspired and in safe hands on my blog. Nature is a wonderful Meuse, and brings out the best in me!

  13. aekshots says:

    Beautiful shots…don’t think I would ever get tired of snapping pics in your part of the world.

    • And I’m not even sure that my shots do justice to the incredible work of nature, but thank you :-)
      It’s a great place for practicing because the light is ever shifting, and nothing looks the same twice.

  14. gwynnrogers says:

    I understand why you enjoy walking that area on the Isle of Skye… to clear your mind and become one with nature. For me, I walk the waterfront. I love listening to the waves, the crash of the surf, watching the seagulls drift over head… this allows me to be me… a water person. I do love your thinking, your beautiful descriptions, and your photography.

    • Thank you Gwynn, and I love the responses to my posts which you share with me. It’s so important to have time to clear your mind, and I love the ocean for that too. We are so lucky in Scotland to never be very far from the salty restless waves. Like you I love to connect with the watery dreamy parts of my nature, while out on the hills I find a connection with the earthy solid core of me :-)

  15. Beautiful Seonaid. Totally beautiful. You have, in this short post (replete with stunning, moving, images) given the complete rationale for why it is EVERYONE needs to know nature. It explains why nature is important. Why we should work to preserve, protect, and love it. You have explained why we all NEED it. We don’t have to live in the Quiraing, or on the Isle of Skye for that matter but we ALL DO NEED to reconnect with our own little, natural, corners of the world from time-to-time … and you have beautifully and movingly explained WHY. You really have. Thank you. D

    • It’s always my pleasure to write about nature, and her powerful effect on us. I’m blown away with your enthusiastic response to this piece David. It was written from the heart, so it’s really lovely to get feedback like this. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you say. We need nature to find ourselves, and nature needs us to care for and protect her.

    • Ditto, ditto, ditto….Nature provides so many “rooms” for us, large and small, to help us get focused and grounded again. In fact, the rooms we build as part of our houses often keep us away and dis-connected from Nature’s spacious rooms. Even the corner of a little garden or a quiet place in a park can serve as a breathing space when we don’t have the opportunity to step out into the “Skye-size” rooms :-) Thank you again, Seonaid, for taking us along on your beautiful journeys into outer and inner nature.

      • My pleasure Annette, and I love that description of inner and outer nature. Mother Nature can help our inner worlds so much, filling them with peace and space. I love my garden as much, but in a different way, for its soothing effect :-)

  16. annathrax says:

    Love this! Love scotland!

  17. It sounds like we walk in a similar pace and way….
    Cant believe how beautiful this is. Or rather I can, but still it takes my breath away and I become very still. As if I’m there….
    Can’t wait for the day Scotland ‘calls’.

    • Hanne, isn’t it lovely to meet people who in the same way, and at the same pace :-) it makes for such an interesting walk. It is pretty breathtaking and unique scenery…..perhaps there’s a whisper of a call?

      • It so is!
        And yes, I hear the whisper, when it start poking me stronger it will be time…
        Your photos has somewhat of a similarity to Iceland, another place on Earth I’m drawn towards. And going again in July. We like :)

      • Iceland has been tugging at my heart for a little while now. Enjoy your visit, and I’ll look forward to your photos Hanne.

      • You’ll will love it. I’m sure of it! It’s otherworldly,raw beauty…
        Thank you, Seonaid.

  18. Suzanne says:

    What a strange, lonely landscape and your writing about carries me away. Getting lost in order to find yourself sounds wonderful and something we all need to at some point in our lives.

    • Strange yes, but I never feel lonely here….there’s just too much drama and nature calling for attention . I love the strange rock formations, they feel like stone people looking down from the cliffs!

  19. Gaye Abbott says:

    This is the great spiritual journey you speak of here Seonaid that we all walk upon in this short span of our unique lives. Beautiful writing and magnificent images….

  20. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I’ve been out today walking, listening to the sound of my feet on the moors, the breeze and birdsong. It’s my room post but it’s much smaller than yours!

  21. minerva says:

    Stunning scenery and photographs and very poignant words. I very much identified with your post today – especially about becoming closer to yourself as you move into the seemingly emptiness of nature. Very uplifting and just what I needed to read today – thank you!
    Alison x

  22. What an awesome place, Seonaid. Your photos are wonderful and your words so compelling that I wish I was walking that path with you. You can go in front. :)

  23. Superb photo set – I haven’t been to that part of Skye but your images make me want to go.

    • Thanks, glad you enjoyed them. It was such a clear day that the usual cloud drama was entirely missing, but each visit here has a different mood and feel…..
      It’s beautiful, but remote, a good 2 hour drive north and west of Plockton :-)

  24. Magnificent country. Losing oneself in this majestic magic is getting close to the core of creativity. And oneself. I have a huge vast white space that I visit in some of my meditations. It just appeared one day without my bidding and I still can’t explain it. To me, it is a space that is open to my interpretation and conjecture that offers exploration.

    • The core of creativity is a great phrase, and fits this dramatic oversized space :-)
      Your vast white space sounds very freeing and undemanding….I can imagine finding myself in there too. So many wonderful adventures which can begin in our minds, and meditation is a great way of keeping open creative space in our minds.

  25. You’re so right Seonaid! Room to breathe fresh, clean air is something that many people sadly don’t have. My area is far more built up than where you are but I still have loads of beautiful countryside on my doorstep and I’m thankful for that! Your photos of Skye are so very inviting :-)

    • This little piece of Scotland is definitely an extreme example of room to breathe, but anywhere filled with nature and some open sky will do the trick….just in a less dramatic way!
      I think it’s the emptiness away up here which helps me to find myself….

  26. Leya says:

    Uncomparable beauty. And about losing oneself in order to find oneself – that is true. Being afraid is not always a bad thing either.

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