Years ago during the fall of 2007, as my husband and I were wandering along a tranquil, windswept hillside in southwest Ireland gazing down at the pewter ocean below, we imagined the courage and pain our ancestors felt as they fled the devastation of the Irish famine and sailed away to America.
Suddenly, we noticed a fellow with his dog walking towards us. While we’d hiked the Teer Track with its sweeping views over Cloghane and Brandon a few times, this was the first person we’d seen.
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Naturally, (we were in Ireland, after all) we all stopped and chatted. To our surprise, John was a native of San Francisco who’d immigrated to Ireland several years ago and built his home nearby. We shared our story – two Americans also of Irish heritage – here to celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary by renewing our vows.
That day John was our angel in disguise.
After kindly taking a great photograph of us as an unexpected treasure of the day, he then invited us to visit his home after our ceremony to celebrate the occasion with a cup of tea and biscuits. Delighted, we agreed, eager to talk more with an almost local Irishman.
The only witnesses to our vows this time were a few black faced sheep who watched us with mild curiosity as we joyfully pledged ourselves to each other. Afterwards, instead of throwing my bouquet (green flowers, of course) to invisible friends back in Australia who had graced our original wedding, I placed it on a stone with my thanks to all the nature intelligences who’d conspired to create such a glorious day for us. Then we walked down the hill to have tea with John and his wife.
It was a perfect day.
A few days later while visiting Kilmalkedar – a 12th Century Irish Romanesque Church and burial ground – we took advantage of the local Ogham Stone to “Seal the Deal” of our marriage yet again. We honored the ancient custom by touching our thumbs together through the small hole at the top. It’s trickier than it looks! This stone is actually older than the church. Inspired by the moment, Bill surprised me with a romantic kiss while a fellow tourist kindly snapped our photo.
We had many other romantic and interesting adventures during our stay. But that’s another story.
Just before heading to the airport to fly back home, Bill bought a slim, secondhand book titled: “Climbing Brandon: Science and Faith on Ireland’s Holy Mountain,” by Chet Raymo. Reading it on the plane, Bill discovered the mysterious mountain we’d seen rising up in the back yard of our 200 year old Irish rental cottage in Cloghane was steeped in centuries of spiritual history.
So this August, while an out of town friend holidays at our home, we’re going back to the Dingle peninsula to honor an agreement we made on that flight in 2007. We’ll return to climb Mount Brandon together (the second, or sixth, or ninth tallest mountain in Ireland – sources vary!) while following in the footsteps of frequent pilgrims over several centuries who made the same trek in search of spiritual enlightenment.
Even though Mount Brandon is only a little over 3,000 feet in elevation, I’m counting on the spiritual energy of all those who’ve walked before me for that extra boost to help me make it to the top with grace. (While the tradition has been to climb barefoot as a penance, I’ll definitely be wearing my trusty hiking boots.)
Since this mountain is notorious for sudden changes of weather, including dense clouds that frequently hide the summit even in summer, we’re giving Nature a whole week to bless us with at least one clear day for our trek.
And yes, you can be sure I’ll be accessing my Akashic Records once we reach the top!
Our intention for climbing Mount Brandon is to go back to a time almost two thousand years ago when Roman Christianity combined with Celtic nature worship on the edge of the Emerald Isle – when the Irish, for a few brilliant centuries, created a fusion of knowledge and mysticism that still speaks through our ancestors and perhaps even our past lives to Bill and me today.
If Mount Brandon is a no show, we’ll certainly hike the nearby Saints Road, which wanders among the fuchsia-hedged fields growing between the sea and the mountain. This medieval Irish pilgrim path of 11 miles may not be as challenging as climbing Mount Brandon, yet every trek in the Irish countryside is sure to be grand.
During our second week, we’ll explore the many historic towns and pilgrimage routes along the Shannon River on our first boating holiday. Our 36’ self-drive sedan cruiser has a top speed of only 8 knots. We understand that most boats poke along at half that, thank goodness!
Bill has bravely volunteered to be our captain which means I get to be first mate. Since I’ll be jumping on and off the boat to untie and tie us whenever we dock, I’ve been practicing by hopping up onto my rebounder and leaping off the other side. All I can say is that I’m keeping my fingers crossed about these tricky boat maneuvers.
During our adventures, I’ll also be on the lookout for fantastic venues and activities to incorporate into another of my dreams someday – an Irish Akashic Retreat. If I find an ideal place, I’ll write about it when I get back. Let me know if you’re interested!
The remaining two weeks of our holiday will be in England, where once again we’ll be dodging the big cities and searching out hidden gems like stone circles, Roman ruins, and steam trains that speak to us of ancient times. I hope you’ll join me for more about that part of our fantastic trip in my September post!
To be continued . . .
If you’d like to check out your past life connections to some foreign land, with Sandra as your Akashic facilitator, click here to set up a private session, or here to learn to access your own Records so you can armchair travel with your Records without even leaving home.
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Till next time,
Radiance and Love –