Listening - watching
taking a moment
drawing the world
finding the way to connection
again and again.

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Wandering on Inish Mor

I took a ferry out to Inish Mor,
the largest of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland.
I explored its ancient fields and low hills,
steering away from the weekend crowds gathering at the dramatic forts,
wandering instead through lonely tumbled down stone enclosures
and early Christian ruins.

One day I walked for hours as the cyclists and cars whizzed past
and the tourist horse carriages clip clopped by.
I was moving slower than everyone.

Then I got off the road and followed a grassy path through the fields.


I was looking for a corbelled beehive hut, a clochán dry stone house,
believed to have been home to solitary monks in early Christian times.

When I found the beehive there was no one around.
This was a quiet place.


I knelt down to enter its oval form.
The opening was low.
I crawled inside.


I sat in the softly lit space, light coming through the low doorways.
Then I lay down, stretched out, relaxed my body,
sinking down, breathing deeper, drifting off . . .

I woke to a rustling sound outside - another walker arriving ?
Scrambling out into the sunlight
I discovered a white horse nuzzling my backpack.


The horse and I nuzzled each other.
We walked slowly around the low stone walled field together.
Then I said goodbye - to the horse and the beehive -
and headed back to the village, to the people,
to the pubs humming with music and conversation,
feeling steadied from the quiet -
the encounter -
this ancient place.

4 comments:

Kamila Havlíková said...

Oh Barbara, this is beautiful. Such a dreamlike image... And I love the way you connect writing and painting. Thank you!

Unknown said...

Perfect (and how can that be, in this imperfect world?)

Unknown said...

Oops, I didn't mean to be unknown. It's me, Joe Spieler

Shanti said...

Thank you so much for sharing your words and your images Barbara. I read this back on the Winter Solstice and was reflecting on the trust and surrender involved when we lay our bodies directly on the earth and drift off to sleep. So powerful. And what a magical surprise to have the horse visit you!