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Mike Scott: how I remember Eileen and Peter Caddy


April 6, 2021 By Mike Scott
Mike Scott 2003 outside the Universal Hall at the Findhorn Foundation

Rock star Mike Scott, founder and lead singer of The Waterboys, spent many years living here at Findhorn (have you heard his classic song about Experience Week?). Here he shares some precious times spent with co-founders Eileen and Peter Caddy – Eileen in her mid-eighties, and Peter in the last year of his life.

Living at Findhorn

Mike Scott performing in the Universal Hall at the Findhorn Foundation

Mike Scott performing in the Universal Hall at the Findhorn Foundation

I came to Findhorn in 1992, first for a few days’ visit, then for Experience Week. In 1994 I was an LCG for three months and stayed on as part of the wider community for the following year or so. I met and married a Findhorn member, Janette, and we moved to London in 1995 but returned seven years later and lived for many years next door to the Park.

During this period my interest in the community’s early days led to me becoming one of the Foundation’s archivists. Part of this work was finding and collating old material and getting it to the National Library of Scotland, where the Foundation’s archives are held. My day job is as a musician, and while I lived at Findhorn I played at many sharings and backed several community singers on guitar. I also recorded two albums in the studio under the Universal Hall – one solo and one with my band The Waterboys.

 

Friendship with Eileen

Mike Scott and Eileen Caddy

Mike Scott and Eileen Caddy

When my wife Janette and I moved into our new home in Findhorn in 2002 we became Eileen Caddy’s next door neighbours. We both knew Eileen slightly but we hardly knew her at all socially. As fate would have it, a few weeks after our arrival Eileen’s carer, Linda, went on holiday and I was asked if I’d take on the job of accompanying Eileen to the Sanctuary every morning at 6am. At this time Eileen was 85 and not very firm on her legs. Her eyesight was poor, and on pitch-dark north of Scotland mornings she needed a friendly arm.

So began a three-month period during which I rose at 5.15 every morning and opened up the Sanctuary on the dot of 6 (a duty that consisted of opening the curtains and a window, and placing two plump cushions on Eileen’s favourite chair). Then I’d walk the 30 or 40 yards to Eileen’s house, Cornerstone, to collect her. I was relieved of my duties a few months later when Linda returned, but Eileen and I remained friends. It was my great privilege to visit her daily, when my travels allowed, during the last few years of her life.

Two Peters in rainbow jumpers

Peter Caddy, his wife Renata and close friend Peter Dawkins wearing rainbow jumpers

Peter and Renata Caddy with close friend Peter Dawkins

I saw Peter Caddy in action only a few times in the last year of his life, on his visits to Findhorn. But I remember one inspiring story about him that I’d like to share with you. It was 1993 and I was in the audience awaiting the start of the Community birthday sharing in the Universal Hall. Peter Caddy was sitting in the front row, smiling and wearing a cosy rainbow sweater. Seated next to him was his friend, the esotericist and fellow ‘Peter’, Peter Dawkins. Mr Dawkins was wearing a cosy rainbow jumper identical to PC’s; they looked like twins, like a kind of New Age Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee.

The hall was filling up and more and more people were beginning to notice the two Peters in their identical jumpers. A communal hubbub grew and turned into a round of very affectionate laughter. The two Peters, realising they were the objects of mirth, spontaneously stood up. One Peter took the other’s arm and they executed a perfect bow, then sat down again. The audience applauded and it was a lovely, funny moment. I was very impressed that PC, having been leader of the community, could so easily and swiftly inhabit being an object of affectionate laughter. Most inspiring.

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