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Connecting with visitors

16 August 2012

Steve Wilson 2012

Connecting with visitors


Much is written about various aspects of the island - sheep, mice, birds, plants, archaeology, social history etc - but of equal interest to me is its impact on people now.  I’ve just returned from spending a few weeks helping visitors get what they need from their time on the island, which I’ve done for the last few years.  Even nowadays it’s still a big deal to get to; many people have held it as an ambition for years.  My satisfaction is in seeing and hearing how much the experience means to them, which is often on a deep emotional level.  So thanks to all who came and went during my time!


One example that stands out to me from this trip is of a lady who really wanted to get up to the Gap, and asked if I thought she could manage the walk.  All I could honestly say was to take it slowly and see how it goes… but that it is certainly worth it!  Later that day she came into the shop, so thrilled that she’d managed it after what was a big effort for her.  With tears in her eyes she said the memory would stay with her for the rest of her life.  It’s a privilege to share such moments, and extremely humbling when the small part one can play in facilitating them is appreciated.


To me and countless others it’s not just another Scottish island.  Nor did it die in 1930; it’s alive now as a place of energy and power.  To those few exceptions who come and then wonder what the fascination is, well…if you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand.


Steve Wilson


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