2015 and I’m In Ireland again…and it’s like visiting an old friend. You can pick up just where you left off with no judgment, just great joy in being together again. Yet, there are all those new conversations and experiences to be embraced, bringing an added depth to the joy.
Gil and I are on the “holiday” part of our month long stay. And speaking of new experiences, we have set off to explore Northern Ireland, in and around Belfast. We’ve walked through part of the ancient forest of Tollymore, wandered around the ruins of Inch Abbey where the ravens swirled above our heads, found a standing stone out in the fields around Audley’s Castle Ward, and enjoyed a fine supper at The Barking Dog.
In the Tollymore Forest, we walked among the trees along a sparkling, cascading stream. Gil mentioned the “baritone” singing of the stream and I began to listen with more imagination. I could hear the sopranos, altos and tenors where the water was running of the rocks in the shallow places. Then we came to a spot where the water fell into a deep pool… ah, there was the bass voice bringing a new rhythm and sound. Here was a rich place for listening. I wonder how many times I’ve missed the voices in my hurrying and “thinking” listening? May I remember to take time to listen with my imagination.
We spent the next day traveling by train to the Giant’s Causeway… a “geological wonder steeped in legend and folklore.” I dressed for rain and the chilling wind of the sea. The sun was shining almost all day so my rain jacket was tied around my waist and a ball hat was purchased to shade my face! We walked along the top of the cliffs with the sea and the lava formations of Mother Earth on one side and the rolling, 40-shades of green fields and farmhouses on the other. Every step brought a new stunning view of the magnificient Creator’s work of shaping and transforming the molten lava into gorgeous beauty for us to behold. I was vividly reminded how we must actively work to cherish Mother Earth and her gifts to us.
My pilgrimage continues… with the intention “to see and be seen.” One of my spiritual companions has given me some words to carry with me… “You don’t have to be good. You don’t have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves…” from Mary Oliver’s The Wild Geese.
Always we begin again…. loving…