Saturday afternoon I finally packed my backpack and moved to another hostel. All it took was literally a 200m walk from one corner of Eyre square to the other… It was a tiny distance but still the difference between probably one of the worst hostels in Galway city and one of the best! This new hostel (Kinlay Hostel) – reviewed as being the best in Galway city – really does live up to its reputation. The cleanliness, friendliness and – most importantly – the space, is amazing! The atmosphere is so fresh and positive… and I’ve been feeling a lot better since the move. Life has become so much lighter. The city feels less invasive. I’ve not been roaming the streets as much, I’ve not been losing myself as often as before and I’ve been sleeping more and focussing better. So I’m moving in the right direction (even if I don’t yet have space for meditating and yoga practise, but for now I have to be fine with that because I know for sure my circumstances are changing and daily practise will soon resume… I’ve total faith that things are moving in that direction).
Over the weekend, as I was feeling more positive and clearer about things, I was processing and reflecting on this entire situation and this is what I came to: I made a promise to myself that if I wasn’t to find a place within the following 12 days, I’d start making plans to travel abroad. I was putting total trust in the ‘fact’ that my search for space would complete itself, if Ireland was my place, at this moment in time. If it was meant to be, I’d find a place that would feel right, instantly. If something feels right, then there’s never a need to analyse, persuade and convince ourselves that it’s the right thing to do… we just ‘know’… without needing to explain.
But before making any rash decisions, I really WAS going to make a big effort in finding a temporary place to live, here in the west - preferably one of Galway’s surrounding towns.
I turned on my laptop on Monday morning. I hopped on the housing website and the first thing I saw was a holiday cottage available for ‘short term’ rent (meaning 6 to 8 months). I called the owner straight away, arranged a viewing and an hour later I was on the bus heading to see this little cottage. It was the strangest bus journey… It was a dreary day; raining, dark and damp. I was the only passenger, the bus driver spoke with such a strong country accent that I couldn’t understand him… I was exhausted, low on energy, not even thinking or expecting anything from the viewing… At moments I even forgot why I was actually on the bus, just for being lost in my own confusion… I was soon snapped out of my daze, when the bus driver mumbled something. I’m gathering he was telling me that we at our destination: Athenry.
30 minutes east of Galway city… Athenry town. I’d never been before and only knew if from the song that sings ‘…loooooooow lieeeeeee the fiiiiieeeeeelds of Athenryyyyyyyyyy…’ (I love that ballad by the way… anytime I’ve been travelling, hearing this song would always bring me bouts of homesickness… it’s so earthly, so Irish, so moving). Anyhow… it’s a quint town, very ‘country’. I asked for directions from a local man who runs a little tea and gift shop in the centre of town (I was tempted to order tea and have a chat… but thought best to keep on moving!) The place I was looking for was apparently only a 10 min walk. Brilliant! So I went on my way, feeling better already. Regardless of what was to come from the viewing, I was upbeat again, just for moving myself forward and trying to make things work in some way…
Before I knew where I was, I came across a sign: Caheroyan house. Yes!! The sign brought me down this little winding pathway, steering into a woodland area, overshadowed by huge trees with the red leaves. Everything was becoming more quiet… Wouw… I felt… so… relieved… as I walked that pathway… Hummm… This little walk alone was soothing… Was I finding a hidden little gem?? I was wary to jump the gun and run away with myself. So, I let-go of expectations and stayed in the moment.
Suddenly I reached the end of the winding path and was faced with a property that can only be described as an 18th century restored ‘manor’ with a garden at the front, benches, green fields… (later I was to find out about the organic farm, the 70acres of land, the walkways, the river…). I then met the lovely English lady who has been running the business for 19 years, together with her husband. She started telling me that their property has become something of a ‘refuge’ for all the animals, over the past years… I’m like… ‘what animals?’ Oh, of course, it’s those cows, horses, dogs and donkeys out in the back fields! I also thought: maybe this place is my refuge too!
We walked to the back of the house and came to a little courtyard with units/apartments that form the square itself. These are the cottages I’d come to take a sneak peak at! Cool… I got to view a two-bedroomed and a three-bedroomed space. And god… how cosy!
The more I spoke with this lady, the more I got into what this whole environment is about. I got to know what ‘drives’ their business in the wintertime when the tourists, the daylight, the temperature and the pace of life have lessened… I sussed out how this little gem of a place has inspired many people…
As I told her my story, she told me the story of previous tenants and those currently still living on the premises… Artists, writers, yoga practitioners, meditators… What?!?!??!? Oh my holy smoke! Wouw… It was one of those moments: Click, click, click… Bang, bang bang... and EVERYTHING suddenly makes sense, EVERYTHING suddenly falls into place and EVERYTHING moves forward as we realize our requests have been granted and there truly is a force that's working WITH us! Wouw!
Well, as I stood there relating with this lovely lady, we were getting deeper into our conversation and I was already envisioning myself to be curled up on late dark winter evenings with the fire lighting, writing whatever I can, whatever I am, for however long I want…
Needless to say, I didn’t want to contemplate whether or not to take it… Even when she said that I’d have to guarantee to stay for 6 to 8 months… I didn’t care! I knew this was an opportunity that wouldn’t come along a second time… so I didn’t need to be second-guessing anything. I secured it straight away with a deposit… that way I was this little space would temporarily be my place…!
And there you have it: 30 minutes after passing by the sign for Caheroyan House, I passed by it again, walking in the other direction, but feeling a sense of relief, purpose and guidance... Whooohoooo!
This really is more perfect than I ever dared imagining. Ever since, I’ve heard myself saying: 'I can’t believe it…' Then I quickly shake myself about and tell myself: ‘Niamh, you better believe it, because it really IS true!’ It’s the sign of all signs that I’m not meant to elope from Ireland just yet… Yes! The bookssssssss need my attention, it’s what I’m meant to focus on for now and I’m the luckiest person in the world to be creating the circumstances that enable me to do the work that I need to be doing. Finally I can totally move into EVERYTHING, in my own little pad, with ease, pleasure, flow and whatever other amazing feeling that can be experienced when we’re FREE to just BE!!! Yay!!!!
(For a look at the place, check out the site. It's the picture beside 'self catering accommodation' http://www.caheroyanhouseathenry.com/accommodation.htm)