The Shed

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Since traveling to Scotland, I’ve been dreaming of moving to the Isle of Skye and making a home there. I would take anything, and I thought a small croft home would suit me well. Then a friend sent me a link to this home in Tokavaig by Dualchas Architects, called The Shed. Skye was heaven enough for me, but this? I would never come back.

The Coral Beach

I asked him to repeat himself three times, because every time he said “Coral Beach” I saw the color. Then he explained: rather than a beach made of sand, millions of tiny coral pieces had gathered to create this beach.

The sand there was a story of organisms that had lived long ago, a collection of memories. It was as if each had been a tiny star in the water that had lived and burned and blinked out. This is what was left.

And I found myself sitting there for hours, reading, staring at the small islands farther out, feeling the history and the serenity of this tiny corner of the world.

{photos of Coral Beach, Isle of Skye, Scotland; taken by me}

The Fairy Glen

Just south of Uig on the north west coast of the Isle of Skye is a small single track road. A mile in, the landscape completely changes. Hills and pastures give way to conical hills and towers and you are left wondering what precisely you have stumbled upon. How is this place so different from all others?

Welcome to the Fairy Glen. (And yes, they do actually all it that.)

Beyond the strange hills and rambling stream lies the remains of an old stone house.

The first thing you notice is that this place has a gravity unlike all others. Stepping onto the grounds is like traveling outside of time. The air is thick with magic or history or possibilities — you can’t ever really decipher it.

And you can’t take your eyes off the fallen rowan tree that is still growing, producing bright berries and leaves.

You try desperately to capture the place in photographs, but fail. It has captured you instead.

You visit twice in less than a day, lingering there. Even when you leave, it calls you back. And so you go. You made the mistake of drinking the water. The place is in you now.

And upon return, you spend hours there, until it tells you to leave. What you found was sacred ground, not consecrated by any religion, but by Nature itself.

(It calls to you still.)

{All photos by me of the Fairy Glen near Uig, Isle of Skye, Scotland. And despite the use of second person, all of this story is true too. I did drink the water, and I feel its call in my blood.}

The Inn on Skye

Beginnings come off the spool bright and thick: crimsons, deep turquoises, lemon yellows, greens like summer grass. Most threads dull in time, but some retain their vividness, and where they intersect others, brighten them. In some physical places, where people come and meet and go, threads shimmer.

The small inn and pub on Skye was such a place, where Scotland blue met American blue and crossed with many others: German green and British red and Polish white. They tangled. They mixed. They were musical.

I took fewest pictures here, but of all the places I went, it was by far the most memorable and significant to me. It was one of those places that can never be really captured in photos or words or even memories because it was so fully alive and vibrant. I fell in love there. With Skye. With the people who worked there. With the people who were visiting. With the locals. Over and over again, I tumbled.

And as if the people weren’t already enough to make my heart ache with joy, there was the sweetest dog who stood guard in the pub, and occasionally brought you a rock when he wanted to play.

{Can you believe I’m not even showing you the most gorgeous photos yet? We’ll get there.}

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Credits

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.