Rain. Rain. Rain. The other pilgrims off to Dublin – a handful stay behind in ancient Glendalough. I am snug and cozy in a room beside the flowing stream. The monastic gates rest just beyond. Today’s gift: to follow the breeze of my own heart. Listening to the i-pod – a poem and thoughts form through the stream of music. God leading. Me following. Listening. Writing. Companioning.
A walk to Laragh. Braving the elements. Skipping. Dancing. Singing in the rain. Two ancestral maidens hold my hands and we are one – alive and at peace. A momentary pause to soak in the wonder of St. Kevin’s Well, we are washed clean.
Further down the path, I am drawn to the ruined church of St. Saviour. Mesmerized by this holy site. Two gates to enter. Stone steps downward. Crossing back and forth between worlds. The rain begins to pour once more. Mother Earth sprinkles me with her holy, heavenly waters.
I continue down the trail. Rain comes and goes. I dry, and just as quickly I am soaked again. Another pause – this time a rock. I almost pass it by, but Mother Earth – Goddess – calls out to me. “Stop!” I return to the spot and witness the sienna stone with one white vein splitting the middle. I pick it up and turn it over in my hand to see two identical veins on the opposite side. The babes – the maidens - have greeted me again. My heart and throat burst into laughter. Goddess is greeting me every step of the way. We are three. Maiden. Mother. Crone. My knapsack fills with treasures.
Material things hold no value for me today. The linen shop is warm and dry, but it cannot hold my attention. I return to the elements. Rain pouring – the sound from the heavens matching the rush of the stream. I retrace my footsteps and then turn upward along the marked hikers’ trail. It takes me higher than I imagine. Up. Up. Up. Until the valley spreads below me.
I walk and walk – an hour, maybe two – the Monastic City a mere speck in my viewfinder. I follow the trail and loop back out by the upper lake of St. Kevin’s Desert. Waterfalls sing to me along the way and I join them with my joy-filled chorus. Whistling while I walk.
Tired and hungry, I return to the hotel. Wet, but warm from the exertion. I satisfy my hunger with Guinness and chips. Returning to the room, my roommate gently naps. Quietly, I run a hot bath, soak my body and shampoo my hair. Clean. Tired. Sated.
I have tended much today. I have laughed and played. Danced and whistled in the rain. Greeted the elements and made time for my heart. Listening. My anam cara with me every step of the way. Blessed be and amen.
view from glendolough hotel window ©
st. kevin's well ©
st. saviour church window ©
monastic city from orange trail ©
st. kevin's desert waterfall ©