The Clare's live "enclosed" in community, so that meant they were separate from us during Mass, on the other side of the altar. Most of the Mass was done with the priest facing them. They had beautiful singing voices, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but truth be told, I missed participating in worship. When Mass was over, and lunch was finished, I went back to my room to "rest". Instead, I found myself tossing and turning about going a second time to church. After all, this was supposed to be a day of Sabbath rest, but no matter what I did, my soul wasn't resting. Finally I got up, dressed again, and sat off for St. Nicholas. I was in for a treat! Along the way to the church, I met up with this family of swans - they may be 'common' to the Irish, but they were pure gift to me.
|Greeted by those beautiful red doors!|
And when I got to St. Nicholas, I found a congregation that was warm and inviting. And colorful! And another pilgrim monk came in, and we sat together! The church was almost full with children, young couples, old folks - every age was there. The choir was incredible, and the procession was pure gift. The choir stood behind us and chanted the most beautiful chant, then processed toward the altar. And the homily (sermon) was lively an inviting.
After browsing through market, I walked back to the bed and breakfast, fully content inside my soul. My Sabbath Day lesson was another reminder to "listen to my heart", "to move with my hear", and "to follow my heart" - in spite of what my MIND may tell me is the "rule" of the day.
I spent the rest of the afternoon blissfully playing in my journal, drawing and coloring symbols of my trip and playing with the idea of painting a mandala of pilgrimage when I returned home.
This is a picture of what I started that Sunday afternoon in Galway.
And I finished my pilgrimage mandala yesterday. I told Jim that I cannot imagine a more beautiful way to integrate the beauty of the trip into the cells of my skin than listening to music we sang along the way (Richard Bruxvoort Colligan's Our Roots Are In You) and painting my memories.
If you click on Richard's website link above, I invite you to listen to "Holy Is This One", and just imagine singing that almost every time we met, and looking in each other's eyes as we sang it. Just of taste of considering yourself and everyone/everything you meet along the way as "holy". It is.