It has been 6 weeks since I returned home from my Epic Irish Odyssey, and I still feel like I am in two worlds, one foot here, and one foot in Ireland. I am no longer discombobulated about it, and have in fact come to accept this may be how it is for a long time to come.
To say I was a little disorientated when I arrived home is an understatement, it took me at least 3 weeks before I woke up and did not have to figure out where I was. It’s been a long and slow journey back to my reality, but in a way my reality has changed- well, not so much as my reality has changed, I have changed. The way I see and view not only the world, but myself. I guess this is what happens to one when they go on an Epic Odyssey.
Speaking of odyssey, Homer has a lot to make up for- he writes about the great Epic adventures and travels of Odysseus, but he does not write about how Odysseus integrates all he has learned from his travels, into his –then- present day life. And that’s the point I am now.
I have been meaning to write a blog for the last few weeks, but the brain would just not get on board with it. It also does not help, that I naively thought that after resting for a few weeks I would be up at it, with no problems, like nothing had happened. WRONG!!- (insert buzzer noise here !!!!)
At first, I put it down to the heat, it was in the upper 20’s, low 30’s degree Celsius here, and I do not do well in the heat. Then I put it down to the heat and the smoky skies- there are over 60 forest fires here on Vancouver Island, and over 500 burning in the province of British Columbia. We are safe, but the smoke has drifted to the area from the fires. Then it cleared, and my brain and body were still “not on line”. My brain was still doing a lot of work in the background, and there is no manual to tell me what it is working on, and when it will be up and running. All I knew was that it was- and continues to work away. And the writing was not coming.
Then I read a blog by my friend, writer, and amazing Irish tour guide Barbara Smith, ( Bea) about what she does when she is not writing. https://sojourningsmith.blog/ and it inspired me, and got me to thinking. I messaged her that I loved the piece and a short conversation started. “This is just beautiful Bea, and so true! I too, have not been writing and wondered why, but mostly OK with it. I love the composting- as I feel that is what I am doing after my trip…letting it sift and settle and when the time is right, will feed not only my writing but my life. Thanks for this beautiful piece, it resonates on so many levels”.
I then mentioned about the Lunasa Harvest- a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season… something else Bea taught me, and once more this got me to thinking and inspired me. “ I wonder if this is another version of Lunasa Harvest, and internal harvest, to use later in the year. That may be what my next blog is about, sure feels like an internal harvest for me, then sorting and sifting to prepare everything for good storage to draw on later …..that came to me as I was sitting outside drinking my morning tea. J “
Needless to say, this resonated deeply with me, and made sense to me. I am still percolating, processing and sifting through my Epic Irish Odyssey, and there is still much for me to learn,- of what I learned while I was away. But, I need to sit quietly and let it come. I mean I have learned much already. Things like…. that the world can be safe, and that it is ok to ask for help- and not just from folks that are in my circle and life and love me- but by perfect strangers. Strangers who took me under their wings, folks who gave me directions to the bus, strangers I talked to on bus rides or sitting at the North Harbour of Cape Clear Island. The women in Sligo asked me about my trip, the women on Inishmore Island, when I mentioned being in Ireland I felt I was finally home and finding that long lost piece of me said “That’s your Irish Speaking”, the gentleman on the bus who showed me where to get the bus in Cork to get back to my lodgings. Strangers I met, who I can now call friends. These are just a few of the things I have learned.
But there is still so much to process and percolate, I can feel it, I know it’s there and I also know it will rise in its own time. I have had fleeting moments, when it seems to come up, shows a wisp of itself, and then as lightly dissipates. This has happened many times, and like my Epic Irish Odyssey, I need to honor the process, and let it take me where I am meant to go.
I was reading a bit of my journal from Cape Clear Island…..” A shift has happened, my tank is full, I have been fully nourished, -I don’t know what it is, it will come to me in time. Maybe it’s a feeling of no longer searching- I have found another section of myself,- but also found a part of myself on a much, much deeper ancestral level…..”
Soon into my Epic Irish Odyssey, I mentioned that Ireland had a “Felt Sense” and I believe that it has many levels of this Felt Sense, but one has to be quiet, be still and listen, and it would talk to me, and talk to me Ireland did, on so, so many levels. Ireland spoke to me and moulded me into who am now. I need to honor my process now, as I did then and let it take it’s time.
I had therapy last week and I mentioned that I was surprised that I was still tired and still discombobulated. My therapist mentioned that she was not surprised, then reminded me that I may have been site seeing every day, but I was also doing therapy every day, challenging old beliefs, stepping out of my comfort zones, had moments where I struggled, had panic attacks, etc. And because I did all of that, I received many wonderful gifts, both from others and from myself. It will take time to process all of this.
So for now, I will allow my Internal Lunasa Harvest to happen. I will sit in my garden with my tea, watch the birds and bees get their winter supplies, and let my heart, brain and soul continue to process, sift and integrate my Epic Irish Odyssey. I will step lightly into my new reality and see what happens.
Thank you for continuing to come along and see where this part of the journey tales me.