This valley of Glendalough in Ireland has been for centuries, is now, and will be long and long into the future, a “thin place.” Here in this valley the “past and the future are present,” says Mary Meighan. It is a “thin place” for those from history and for those of us here right now.
It is soooo mystically beautiful, and tangibly earthy, all at once.
We have just a wee bit of a wifi signal, enough for me to send you this update . . . too slow, though, for me to try to update pictures from the day for you. Too bad. Several of the images are really quite good, if I do say so myself. Perhaps some time during our Glendalough days we will be at a place with a strong enough signal for us to give you a few images, but for now let it be words.
Some of our day was spent walking in the valley. Mostly though, the last two days have been with Mary, We began with her at about 10:00 and walked the labyrinth in the rain.
I heard yesterday from Bridget May Meehan (Bishop, of Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community) that her dad, Jack, who is the subject of the very first post on this blog, has been admitted to hospice care. I walked the Glendalough labyrinth for the two of them today, trusting they may feel the energy of Ireland wafting to them and that it might bring them comfort for this portion of their separate but equally difficult journeys.
Mary guided us for much of the rest of the day in word and song and silence and symbol. She is a loving, peaceful woman of wisdom. She lives and breathes her spirituality of the celtic ways. She blesses us, herself and you (through us), over and over and over with beauty, heritage and hope. She is teaching us Celtic chants. She is inviting us to learn to be those who hold the contradictions of life and those who welcomingly befriend the bits and pieces of ourselves and others – you know the brokenness, the rough edges. She is teaching us of the old ones of this valley and Ireland. She is inspiring us with music. She is inviting us to be healed, emboldened, and . . . with the blessing of well water (so far from the well of Bridgit and the hill of Tara) to be ones who are listening and open.
Today it rained and then the sun shone and then it got cloudy and then it rained and then the sun shone and then it rained and . . . so it went. All the while the light from the sliding glass door of the sanctuary room where we meet kept changing – dimming, brightening, warming, darkening, illuminating. Patricia, after one of our times of silence, said she was delighted by the play of light from the candle on the weave of the Irish woven cloth of the altar on the floor in front of us. She said it was as though the light from the candle began to shine on the cloth in such a way that it seemed to bring the cloth to life almost weaving it anew by the light.
The play of light in thin places, the times of silence with Mary, and drama of weather in this small rural river valley are coming to life within us.
After Mary dropped us off back at Riversdale and to our stone cottage, we climbed to the end of the valley farthest from St. Kevin’s old church and tower and were delighted by the varying sounds of the river as it descended the Wicklow mountain into the valley. Ahh, and the view from on high looking down on where we began our day at the other end, twelve hours earlier was breath-taking.
Here is a Celtic blessing for your night and ours:
May the blessing of light be on you – light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire,
so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
like a candle set in the window of a house,
bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you,
may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the earth be on you,
soft under your feet as you pass along the roads,
soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day;
and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it.
May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly. Amen.
Read more at: http://www.faithandworship.com/Celtic_Blessings_and_Prayers.htm#ixzz24DMaYYuc
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