“Stillness is vital to the world of the soul. If, as you age, you become more still, you will discover that stillness can be a great companion. The fragments of your life will have time to unify, the place where your soul shelter is wounded or broken will have time to knit and heal. You will be able to return to your self. In this stillness, you will engage your soul.” (John O’Donoghue)
It is not always easy to slow down in a world that moves at pace. The key to life is balance. Exertion without rest drains us to the core and dims our coordinates. We heave our way from one target to the next on the treadmill of life and rarely connect to source. We all need to press pause now and again and take a breather from the world. The great outdoors connect us to something deeper that might otherwise pass us by. Dunmore East has a mesmeric way of slowing the pulse right down. Anyone who escapes to the waters and the wild will want to return.
Headland trails, lobster pots, fishing, lunch out in the Bay – Dunmore East is the perfect ‘still zone’ to ease us back to where we belong. The Dunmore East Cliff Walk is perched above the village in silent homage to those who have passed this way for centuries. 200 years ago, young men from neighbouring Portally, Ballymacaw and Rathmoylan walked this very path to excavate boulders of rock from the cliff below as they sculpted the harbour we have today. Here, on the new footbridge beneath the cliff, we come face to face with curious remnants of a bygone time; footsteps, railings, carved rock – the railway line from the cliff to the harbour has all but disappeared. Faint strains echo through the citadel of stone to calm the stirrings of the passer by.
It’s good to ease the pace and feel the ground beneath your feet, to calm the tempest of the mind and soak in the beauty that opens up before you. Energy ripples in symmetry with the dancing of the waves. What we observe leaves lasting imprints; the magical hues of the azure ocean as it laps onto the flat rocks, the languid majesty of the seal as it basks in the sun, the silhouette of Hook Lighthouse as it peers out through misty skies. In observing the waters stretch out to the distant horizon, we sense intuitively the merging of what is near with timeless echoes from afar.
A trip out to sea on return to the harbour completes this experience. Time in ‘The Keltoi Warrior’ is precious time. Brendan takes us on a voyage of discovery, sharing anecdotes on the coves and sea caves, narrowing the lens to absorb the sublime beauty of the miniscule against the towering backdrop of the cliffs. After checking in on the lobster pots and maybe reeling in a mackerel or two, we anchor in at some quiet corner of the Bay. Lunch by the shoreline to the sound of waves lapping against the brow of the boat… “Well my mama told me there’ll be days like this…
“Just imagine that the purpose of life is your happiness only – then life becomes a cruel and senseless thing. You have to embrace the wisdom of humanity. Your intellect and your heart tell you that the meaning of life is to serve the force that sent you into the world. Then life becomes a joy.” (Leo Tolstoy)
You see it’s the unscripted events make life worth living – moments that happen in ways we least expect. Often it is the unlikely one we meet along the way who inspires in ways we could never imagine. One such person joined us with a group from Shannon for a 3 day ‘time-out’ in May. At 81 years of age, Anne defies the odds. Her mobility is not as great as it once was, but, with a little gentle encouragement, she mustered the courage to take that first step. There was no stopping her!
Anne threw caution to the wind. She may not be able to walk at the pace of others, or indeed cover the same distance, but she was determined to give it a go. She beamed from start to finish and kept us all on our toes with her astute observations and her irrepressible wit. Her smile was matched by her resolve to make the most of each moment, to soak in the wonders of the universe as it rolled out before her on the balmy seas. Dunmore East had helped her to retrieve something from within that she taught had long since passed. We who shared her path were the privileged ones.
Her words in a letter she sent on her return are a timely reminder to all of us to make the most of what each new day brings.
“Thank you for a rejuvenating few days. I enjoyed everything and have a bank of films of each event that I can rerun at will. I had no idea Waterford County is so beautiful. I find it hard to choose what I enjoyed most. I think you have put together something unique. I loved the inspirational stories, the reflective pauses and the music. And Elaine, I enjoyed our chats. I came home refreshed and more in touch with my inner self. I wish you all the best with a very worthy venture. Thanks for your extra kindnesses to me.” (Anne, Shannon)
Our individual story is just one melodic movement in the wider symphony of the universe. No matter how small or insignificant we may appear each one of us is part of something greater than ourselves. This is the mystery of life made simple. We all have a song to sing, a story to tell, a higher purpose to map out. Dunmore East is the gateway to all that matters.
“Have your beautiful things but do not be imprisoned by them. Own them but do not let them own you. Give the main aim of your life over to far more important pursuits such as discovery of your highest potential, giving of yourself to others and making a difference by living for something more important than yourself. Success is fine but significance is the real name of the game.” (Robin Sharma)
Our ‘To the waters and the wild’ in Dunmore East will be running on selected Sundays from July. The price comes in at €60 per person for groups of 8 to 12 persons, inclusive of mindful walks led by Dr Phil and his wife Elaine, boat hire, fishing and lunch. You can check our Facebook Events link www.facebook.com/pg/WaterfordCamino/events/ for available dates; Sunday 4th August, Sunday 11th August, Sunday and Sunday 25th August. Find out more about our signature experiences on our website www.waterfordcamino.com
Midweek breaks inclusive of the Dunmore East ‘time-out’ and the ‘Cycle of Life’ on the Waterford Greenway, with overnight dinner and B&B in the Tower Hotel, Waterford are also available; ideal for sports clubs, staff days or corporate events. Every day can be tailored to suit each group. Contact Phil and Elaine on firstname.lastname@example.org if you require any further information.