I walked on the granite and quartz hills of Achill Island, found the holy waters, and sat looking at the ocean, as if I was dissolving into the space between land, sea and sky. I moved along ancient paths and felt those that had come before me and their legacy of great feeling for the spirit of place and its abundant embodiment and texture in rocks, plants, birds, fish, all of which supplied food and shelter for the people and the animals they kept. The current aggrandizement of human existence had not happened yet when people built in harmony with the land, carefully siting any home or tomb or shelter; the scale of mountains and sea and sky kept humans conscious of where their source of nurturing and energy came from, and our part in it was a humble place in it. I walked right back into that energy field of awareness. i was feeling the devotion, the sharing, the play and the gratitude for the blessings that humans received as long as they were farming or fishing or raising families or praying, singing, dancing or writing for God.
It was easy for me to follow in the footsteps of those who had gone before, to sense the link to the moon and stars and to feel myself open to the green fire of my heart. I felt supported by flashes of light on water, rush of falls over cliff, shifting of shadow on mountain, crowning mists on the heights, indigo hills in the distance, and sand beach laying like an edge between day and night on the shore. I felt the energy of dolphins leaping, tides turning, grasses waving in the wind, masses of white quartz rising out of the hillside like dragon heads, and breezes bringing in whispers, sighs and chasing midday heat away. The clear northwestern light of Achill Island was always cutting edges, augmenting colours, creating sharpness in the forms of things, reminding me to catch the moment, because the next one will change.
I have a photo of the place where I return in my meditations now, on a loch high in the hills; it was easy to dissolve into the space there and let the heaviness of human identity drop away. The spirit can merge easily with the soul of such places and there is no reason but to be.
Because of my teachers on the other side have shown me how we align with a place, or not, joining our energy centres to the site, or not, I believe that Ireland holds one of the greatest heart spaces for me right now because of its land and its people. It was possible to rest in the serenity of the hills, forgoing more sites that might have called through intellect and instead letting the ones I found “choose me,” The “remembering” on Achill Island not only of Irish but of human cultures and other lifetimes spent in caves, in cloisters, in service to faerie, and to tending sheep and tending fires. There were times of great soul and fewer material distractions, not to mention the harshness that brought out the character of our ancestors who developed their strength of spirit and creative skills. The memories of their dreams shifted in the mists of Achill, reminding me of the impermanence of the moment, a lifetime, or a century of change, such as this one we are experiencing now.
This is not a passive peace but a dynamic interaction between what is changing and what is remaining, letting go and building resilience. It’s work.
Have a look at the videos that express this; yes, I planned to dance, no, I did not always know when I would be recorded, but trusted my friend Patricia who felt she wanted to honour what was happening by blending her gifts with mine to share our intentions and work with others.
May Patricia and I be blessed to communicate our experience of the liminal spaces of Ireland with you.
UPDATE March 2017: See the entire series of 8 videos here.