It’s only a short visit to the Mainland, but it has made think of the importance of the familiar. For those who had little option other than emigration in the mid-ninetieth century the familiar landmarks must have been treasured memories. Leaving these shores meant leaving family and the familiar as they committed themselves to perilous journeys. Communication took months. Telephones, mobiles, texts, video calling and social media simply did not exist.
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As we board the ferry bound for Oban, we leave behind views across the water to the Paps of Jura and closer to home, the Post Office, BT Tower and the Lighthouse. God willing we will return shortly to our church family, friends and the familiar – and should we need to – we can always avail ourselves of our smartphones.
It’ still, warm and bright. The sky is blue with some thin high level clouds. What an evening to leave for the Mainland. In Scarinish the sheep often seem to discard their coats. Walking out today there was no need for hat, scarf, gloves or coat. There are signs that even the Machair is sensing the warmth in the air.
Gulls, oyster-catchers, lapwings are familiar sights and sounds.
Heading down to the pier to board this evening’s ferry, we leave behind now familiar sights; everyday landmarks.
As the MV Clansman heads out to sea bound for Oban we will look across the bay to familiar landmark, to Tilley-the Turbine, the Lodge Hotel, Kirkapol and the more distant Golf Ball on the top of Ben Hynish.