Saturday, September 29, 2012


Four weeks ago today we moved into The Bothie – our little home overlooking Loch Ewe with views toward Beinn Airigh Charr and the Torridon hills. It is an amazing place to be…and the realisation of the dream Chris and I have held firm in our hearts for the past six years. We have come to be where we are meant to be and all is as it should be.

When we arrived, we were met with such incredible hospitality by those we already knew and those we are getting to know. We have friends here – good friends.  Even the cat is happier here than I have known her to be. And sleep comes so easily now – no more tossing and turning. I am asleep within minutes of getting into bed. The air is so clean, the sound of Loch Ewe (a sea loch) moving with the tide just beyond our window – it is simply ideal.

The first week we were here, I “set up shop” for Ailleas Designs at the GALE Centre in Gairloch. Two days there, one day at the Aultbea Market and a return to the GALE Centre on Monday proved to be my most successful days in business. It was as if fate itself were telling me, clearly and in no uncertain terms, that I was, that we are, exactly where we are meant to be.

Many, many years ago, I was spurred to make changes in my life because of the wise words of Maya Angelou when she said that life is not a dress rehearsal; we only get one shot at this life and we need to make it count. All the moving I have done, all the searching I have done – both for the perfect partner and the perfect home – has been in order to make the latter part of my life count for something. I am happy to say that the chapter that started four weeks ago is the chapter that will lead, finally and at last, to my happily ever after.

Despite being a prolific dreamer, I am still amazed when a dream comes true. Perhaps it is because I have tried, all my life, to be a good and kind person. To be helpful when needed and to be loyal to friends and family - be a good daughter, wife, mother and friend.  It has not always been the easiest thing to do, but I have tried.  I know, from everything Chris has told me, that he, too, has simply tried to be the best son, husband and father he could be. We have not always been appreciated and we have often been hurt. But we continued, and still continue, to try to be loving and kind. Perhaps our finding this place and being here is compensation for trying so hard to be the best people we could be. I don't know and I am not the one to make that judgment. For me, I will be forever grateful to my mother who, when we both realised that a move back to Scotland was a possibility, gave me the greatest gift of love by allowing me to continue my search for finding my home without feeling as if I had abandoned my duties. And I have found my home. While I will always love and miss my friends and family back in the States, it is here that I can fulfill my potential (or what is left as I stare at my 57th birthday looming in the near future) and it is here that I can be truly happy.

The view from  my work table
We are spoiled by the inspiration that this place gives us. Just outside the window, just the other side from where I work, the views inspire my creations. Ailleas Designs has already welcomed a copper necklace and earring set inspired by the little rise of heather just outside the window. And soon I will create a set with Songea sapphires, inspired by the play of blues, greens, greys and flashes of teal that are found in the loch on a grey day. Indeed, that set will be entitled “Loch Ewe Reflections.” I have no doubt that I will create more and better work than ever before with my view of the loch and the hills beyond just outside the window.

Autumn is now with us and the days are shorter. The hills have traded their green, yellow and purple for bronze, gold and brown. The hills, in the afternoon light of an autumn day, are so beautiful to behold. The light, when just right, seems to illuminate every nook and cranny in the hills, bringing them even more alive. The distant hills of Torridon can appear far away or very close depending on the light. It is magical.

Thoughts are turning to Christmas now. Markets are being organised and both Chris and I are looking forward to taking part in all of them. We spend time with friends and friends-yet-to-be-made and we know we are looking forward to great joys in the remainder of this year and in the years to come. My biggest regret is that this part of my life didn’t come earlier so that my parents could have traveled to see us here. My mother and I are realistic in dreaming of her coming her for a visit. It would be impossible – but I wish so much she could visit and feel the familiar warmth and welcome of our ancestors’ country.