Blessing the Windpark

On Saturday the community took time out to bless and name its three new windmills. It was a light and celebratory event and our group, drawn from all aspects of the community and guests, gathered behind our ever faithful piper, Rory, to wind our way through the woods towards the windpark.

{image=piper.jpg align=left wrap}On our way west we encountered ‘nature spirits’ who greeted, entertained and generally led us a merry dance. One of the children who joined us also added a delightfully fresh dimension to proceedings – shrieking loudly with pleasure when he first spied a brightly clad orange nature spirit heading towards us through the woods playing the flute.

When we passed through two tall trees, there were two more nature spirits, of the feminine kind, who were standing there to kiss everyone on the cheek. But one small boy was having none of that. Seeing all who passed being kissed, he made a hasty retreat and then skirted around another way, clambering over brambles, bushes and fallen branches. He obviously found the prospect of being scratched infinitely better than being kissed!

Finally these delightful moments led us into the stretch of gorse that is home to the windfarm. It’s a splendid space. Some mornings I jog out there only to fall immediately under its spell. Standing proudly, the sleek silos stretch silently towards the ever moving sky, rotating arms greeting sun and earth, sun and earth, with mesmerising regularity. For me they speak of effortless effort and peace to all on the earth.

{image=flute.jpg align=right wrap}We had no sooner arrived and gathered together than the air around us cracked shrill and loud as a jet from the RAF base next door twisted and curled around the windfarm. The aerobatic manoeuvres seemed specially laid on in honour of our celebration (it was actually a Family and Friends Day at the base) and so were in perfect timing. I smiled at some ironic humour at work.

But the community is good at rising to such moments and with a brilliant stroke of wit Mari Hollander, our management team focaliser, quipped “Let us tune in with a moment of … noise.” Mari then spoke of the project and the tireless persistence of the people involved in getting the wind park project going, so much so that at one point the names Patience, Persistence and Perseverance were considered as names for the new windmills. The erection of the three additional turbines means that the community will generate enough energy to be self-sufficient most of the time. And the fact that these turbines supply carbon neutral fuel ensures that the community is playing their part in combating pollution and depletion of the earth’s resources, an objective close to the community’s heart.

The three new windmills are owned by Findhorn Wind Park Ltd, a company which is majority owned by the Foundation and members of the local community via Ekopia Ltd. On windless days electricity will be taken from the national grid, however when the wind blows strongly the excess will be sold back to Scottish and Southern Energy, who can then sell this electricity on to local consumers. In this way the Findhorn Foundation and wider community not only becomes more self-sufficient but makes a green contribution to the local area too.

{image=windmillpath.jpg align=left wrap}In the end the three new windmills were named Gratitude, Beauty and Joy, the three graces. And the gathering burst forth into song, ceremonially walking around each mill. No windmills could have been more appreciated, or more beautifully attired, thanks to the efforts of Lisa Shaw and and her team.

The ceremony marks the fulfilment of a dream for the Findhorn Foundation and community. The three new sentinels on our horizon are testimony to the power of spirit to take the community forward in very real and practical ways. And if you ever need a moment to stop and reflect on what this amazing experiment at Findhorn is all about, you can lift your eyes to the west and breath in . . .

Catherine Glennie

photos courtesy of Thomas George

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