Spending time in Ireland as an American I’ve carried trepidation about treading on what is tender. When we began going down to Galway Bay to honor the limbo baby mothers with ceremony and prayer, I was reluctant to tell any of the locals I know in that area. Holding ceremony at ancient sites I’ve been discreet, waiting until other visitors had come and gone. I’ve been staying at the same B&Bs for years yet it’s only recently that these folks understand the nature of our sacred journeys to Ireland’s sacred nature.
I’m glad I was cautious. For in that caution there was the foundation for understanding how to enter their world, especially the realm of their spiritual heritage, with honoring. And from that foundation there has emerged a gentle peace of knowing that this honoring is recognized and welcomed by the Irish people.
When I ventured to tell Vera and Barkley about our seaside ceremony I wondered at their reaction. Vera is devoutly Catholic and we were, by our prayer focus, calling attention to a dark period in Church history. They were pleased. No, they were delighted to hear of what we did.
Jack and I stood in the driveway with Karl long after everyone had gone to bed. This son of our Sligo B&B hosts was intrigued by our spiritual explorations and encounters with area sacred sites and was probing for more information and details of our recent adventures. He mentioned he would have liked to join us.
It was an unusually busy day in the Bricklieve Mountains. We had gathered at the entrance of one of the many cairns in this landscape and just started singing when yet another group of people arrived. So we stopped and stepped back. Encouraging them to go inside for really although the entrance is small once you are inside you can actually stand up. This group entered and left in short order. But one man stayed behind. As we stepped back into ceremony, he stood there with a huge grin on his face. I believe that had we offered, he would have joined us.
On these Sacred Ireland journeys we are planting seeds of spiritual connection. For ourselves and clearly for others. It’s such joy to find that for many Irish people these seeds are welcomed. In the honoring, may they be nurtured.
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org