Arriving into Gougane Barra Hotel today a sign at the door seemed to read the language of my soul. ‘Not all who wander are lost’.
I’m wandering today, but I don’t feel lost. It’s summer solstice. It’s a turning point in the year, when – in the northern hemisphere- the light is full and the days are at their longest. As a day to celebrate, it did not feel like a day to be sitting at the kitchen table, so I packed my bags and drove the hour or so up here, laptop included, swimming gear too.
Gougane Barra is a special place. Surrounded by high mountains, it’s an ancient monastic site where St Finbarr said to have built a church in the 6th Century on a little island in the lake. The river lee- the main river running into Cork city has its source close by too. The water here is clear and today calm as glass. With summer is in its full, the foxgloves are necklacing the shore; wild daisy and buttercups too. And there is a quiet here that can only happen inland; a kind of quiet that was calling.
I like to mark each solstice. Ancient as the rituals are, the solstices seems like a brilliant chances to place some pinpoints on maps: the map of where you are now and the map of where you want to get to. I find that wild places are the best facilitators of such conversations. It’s out in nature when I can think more clearly; tune into my deeper voice and shut out the noise.
So, arriving here to Gougane Barra this afternoon there was only one thing for it; to jump into the lake and let her dark waters embrace me. Below the surface, there is a different quiet too; the one that feels so alive, so vital, so energising. Sometimes we have to dive deep to really find our way. It’s only after jumping in that I can write, set the intentions, do the work. It’s through that wandering that I find my way.
So today/ tonight, the invitation:
To wander. To find a wild spot for yourself, and see you can find a wild spot in yourself too. To celebrate all that you are and all that you are becoming. To write some intentions. To feel your body move in the light. To inhabit more of yourself and therefore the world. And do whatever it is you need to do to feel enlivened. And may the long day is here to be your guide… your inner wildness too.
(The photo above with from a recent Whale Watching trip… but more on that soon… I don’t quite have the words yet)
A reminder too that midnight tonight is the last chance to book the Summer Sessions package- 3 months to blast your projects with insight and momentum, and harness the energy of the season ahead. You can read more and book online here.