To get myself connected to life once again, I took part in a walking festival from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. Ana-Sophia (a girl I met on the meditation course in June) and her friend John asked me to go along to the festival in the Burren (on the west coast, just an hour south of Galway city). The fact that it was in the west, on the same weekend as I was planning on moving over here, was brilliant! What a way to start this next move. I was finding my footing on Irish earth, good and proper!
It’s been 7 months since I put my backpack in the wardrobe. I remember when I stashed it away. God, how curious I was, as to what place I’d be travelling to, when the time to use it would come again. I never expected it to be the west of Ireland…
We set off on Friday morning. I had my backpack packed. I had equipped myself with as much walking gear as I could carry and the Burren awaited us.
Both the hike as well as the company was perfect. We were levelling so much, we had great conversations and there was full understanding and respect for each other’s space. The walking was amazing in the sense that, for me, it almost turned into a meditation. By saying that, I don’t mean to say I had my eyes closed and sat on my behind the whole hike! (then it wouldn’t be a hike..!) But I mean to say, I was totally IN the moment, with full concentration and focus. Why? Because the terrain was rocky, boggy, holy (I means there were holes in the ground!) and loose. At stages there were only stepping stones, other times we were hanging off the side of rocky hills. So without focus one slip could’ve meant sprained ankles, broken bones and critical falls. It was a brilliant way to practise present-moment awareness. And to be in that state in such a gorgeous landscape… Wouw. I can’t say how powerful it was. I felt strong and grounded like never before, totally OUT of my head and pulled back into myself without projecting myself forward. Often, by projecting ourselves forward, we’re inclined to loose ourselves… and that’s what I’ve experienced. But on the 7 hour hike on Saturday, I found parts of myself again.
What took me by surprise as well was how strong my physical body has become. I had secret doubts if I’d be able for it, if my legs were solid enough, if my stamina was okay, if my back would carry me, if I’d keep up with the group… But I felt on top of all 3 hills we climbed, even when we were descending the hills, hanging from the lime stone landscape and watching the cows strolling along the little country roads. I was deeply satisfied J (Maybe I’ll concur the Everest yet ;-) eventually… haha… )
Sunday afternoon the festival was over. Ana and John headed back to Dublin and I stayed in Clare (Doolin). That’s when it started hitting me… 'Okay Niamh, you’re here in the west now, in a hostel, without a set plan'. That’s when I felt… ‘I must be lost, if I don’t know where I’m staying next and why I’m doing this’… But the quote: ‘Those who wander aren’t always lost’ caught my eye at the perfect time. That’s when I found a deeper sense of trust again. Trust that I will find what I need, at this moment, and it was/is happening. I’ve set something in motion now and it can only move onwards. So I’ll make this work for me, in the way I feel is right, using what I’ve got to the best of my ability. We’ll see where it leads.