“Feel the fear and do it anyway”


It’s a phrase coined by one of those motivational self help guides that espouses us to break our familiar habits to be open to experiencing potentially rewarding new opportunities. A visiting friend related it to me and when I decided to go to Arran, whatever the weather after the recent tidal surges, I thought I would either pay the price with my stupidity or have an amazing time.

I was definitely nervous as I drove from Glasgow to Ardrossan about not being able to sail as most ferries had been cancelled in the previous 10 days. A mainland Plan B was mooted, but it did not get beyond the conceptual as I simply could not think of anywhere else I wanted to go more at that time….a “Scotland in miniature” with its mountains, glens and rocky geologically varied coastline was what I craved.

As I crossed on a mill pond, I sensed the portents might be in my favour. Of course it rained…a lot… but I expected that and daily prayed for that cloud-on-cloud action that lifts a mundane photograph to something almost transcendental; whether I got that is debatable but I did have fun chasing rainbows and sunbursts at every opportunity and drove from one side of the island to the other on one occasion when a golden hue emerged from the daylong raincloud grey over Goatfell signalling the possibility of a great sunset. (Yes it was worth it, if only to experience for a few moments only as the golden disc dipped behind Kintyre).

I simply could not have worked harder that week in my efforts to find photographs, and when I glimpsed an otter at Kildonan munching on a newly landed fish held between its furry paws, and the pair of golden eagles soaring across the glens several days later, I knew my experience already complete enough without me attempting to attach a telephoto lens and capture those scenes too.

Arran is a spectacular island that calls me to go back at another season and experience with fresh eyes once again. Visiting has definitely highlighted the merit in my friend’s anti-fearful paralysis maxim…Do it anyway!