An Honoring

September 28, 2021


After the potent intensity of our time in sacred sites and landscapes, we landed in Doolin and needed a day to breathe and ground. Some of us took the ferry to Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands, for a day of walking in the peace and tranquility of the place. It was a gorgeous day and we returned to the dock well filled and recalibrated.

We were on the ferry again headed back to Doolin and just a mile off shore when the captain cut the engines and brought the boat to a full stop. At first we wondered if there might be something wrong. And then we realized there was something right, very right in what we were about. 

Looking across the water at the island we could just make out a long line of people walking slowly behind a large vehicle. It was a funeral procession. And as they made their way to the cemetery, we floated in silent tribute for a full twenty minutes or more. There was clearly no concern for schedules. This honoring was the only thing that mattered. 

In this pandemic time there is much conversation about what is missed. Among the Irish, those conversations lead with a longing to again attend funerals. Now the lifting restrictions make that possible and people can return to their cherished traditions. And as is the way of this tradition, the entire population of Inis Oírr would have been in that procession. Every thing stops to honor the dead. And so did we. 

It was stunningly beautiful and a privilege to join in the honoring.

Judith –