Some days, you just wish you could wipe the slate clean and start afresh. There’s something about a New Year that makes us want to re-boot and get our lives back on track. Light lingers that bit longer with each passing day nudging us to take that first step down a path we may not have travelled before. Something stirs us to seek out new frontiers, to dare to take that leap into the unknown. What awaits, only you can discover. That first step starts with you!
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” (Lao Tzu)
Time out off the beaten track leads to places you could never have imagined. It’s strangely liberating to leave the mobile on silent and simply abandon ourselves to the power of the universe. The Waterford Greenway invites us to do just that. The rush of energy you feel as you navigate the old railway line by bike is unreal. There’s a life force at play here, something primordial, elemental even, that carries you along. Our coordinates, once dimmed, become more focused. What has gone before yields to the opportunities this moment presents. It’s like we learn to see again, this time more clearly.
Early morning by the River Suir lulls us gently beyond the fretful stir of the city. Nature’s soothing balm seeps through the pores, unannounced, as swallows soar homeward in telepathic waves above the river’s flow. If you don’t slow down, stop even, you’ll miss it. So graceful, so disarming, challenging us to step outside what once defined us and attune our lives to a new frequency. Here, by the water’s edge, we come face to face with the mystery of it all. Stillness quietens the tempest of the mind and offers safe sanctuary from the passing storm.
“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’s good to go outdoors, to re-charge the batteries, to feel the freedom. Once we venture beyond our normal boundaries, we leave the world as we know it behind. Psychologists call this a state of ‘flow’ where you are in a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand for its own sake, leading to great engagement and fulfilment as the normal concerns of self and time are forgotten. You become so engaged with your surroundings, you hardly notice your movement. The rhythm takes over, that subliminal part of our being that roots us in the universe. Light breaks through in ways once unseen. You sense you are not alone.
“The man whispered, “God, speak to me” and a meadowlark sang.
But, the man did not hear.
So, the man yelled, “God speak to me” and the thunder rolled across the sky.
But, the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said, “God let me see you” and a star shone brightly.
But, the man did not see.
And the man shouted, “God show me a miracle” and a life was born.
But, the man did not notice.
So the man cried out in despair, “Touch me God”, and let me know you’re
here” whereupon God reached down and touched the man.
But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.”
The veil lifts and our tempo quickens again in anticipation of what lies ahead. There’s no need for fancy temples or ornate rituals to navigate the unknown. As you walk out to the Mahon Falls in the heart of the Comeragh Mountains, you instinctively know that you are part of something greater than yourself; sheep, mountains, rocky hillsides, rolling waters – all chiselled from the same creative hand. Widen the lens a little and you see all the parts converge in one timeless kaleidoscope of vista and colour millions of years in the making. Everything is different, yet everything has its place. The waters roll from source above to the ocean below in unspoken obedience to the life force that makes it all possible. The mystical is oft’ closer than we realise.
Here by this amphitheatre of rock beneath the skies, the story of the universe is laid bare before us. The sun gleams from afar some 93 million miles away paying homage to our microscopic presence within a wider stratosphere of galaxies light years from where we stand and stare. Yet the world in its miniature, barest form has a significance too far beyond what the eye can see. The grazing of the sheep, the secluded sanctuary of the woods, the flowers and fruits, the tranquil tones of the river’s flow, birds singing, tiny insects, us; an eclectic overflow of creative energy that has been there since time began. And to think that it all started with some 13.8 billion years ago.
“Whenever I begin to question whether God exists, I look up to the sky and surely there, right there, between the sun and the moon, stands my grandmother, singing a long meter hymn, a song somewhere between a moan and a lullabye and I know faith is the evidence of things unseen.” (Maya Angelou)
Hold onto your dreams and hopes for the year ahead with a very loose grip. Once you take that first step, abandon the illusion of control. Do your best. Let life do the rest. Learn more, laugh more and seize on the opportunities that each new day presents. Often the universe will speak to you in ways you least expect. We are a tiny yet significant melodic movement in a wider symphony. We soon come to know that the key to life is to make time for others we pass along the way. It is then the pieces fall into place. Trust yourself as you venture off the beaten track and trust in the universe to lead you home.
“We think that we are more intelligent than the universe. This universe that created the sunsets and the rainbows. This universe that created the stars and the moon. We think that we know more about what’s in our best interests than the source that created all that exists…Life does not listen to your logic. It goes on its own way. The way you think it’s going to unfold is not the way it’s going to unfold. There’s a higher order running the show.” (Robin Sharma)
We have recently updated our website to reflect our new range of Waterford Camino options for 2020. Hope we get to share the path with you in the months ahead. For further information check out www.waterfordcamino.com or email Phil and Elaine directly at firstname.lastname@example.org