At holiday time, there is much to be said for being here. The weather has changed from virulent and remarkably persistent sandstorms to gentle sunshine. In the absence of other things to think about, my mind turned to echoes of the past, a somewhat disturbing tendency, one finds, perhaps being a function of advancing years. Alternatively a spin from Clannad on the iPod revived a shadow or two concerning Celtic spirituality. I have always had some strange, whispering connection with Celtic methods, not least in more recent times, when thanksgiving seems more in my mindset than it once did.

It has always seemed to me to have at its heart a sense of openness to possibilities, to connections and relationships, both abstract and physical. It is a willingness to risk both personal security and the ‘self’ in the search for the God-heart that lives within each individual and the spiritual energy that is ever present in the whole of creation. It is also about memory, the spiritual memory that we all carry within us, linking us to the memory of all that has been, since the beginning of time. It is a willingness to journey within and without time, and outside the structures of dogma that hold and restrict the imaginal world of possibilities, to find a deeper truth.

Let me be clear, I do not mean the traditions of Wicca or Druidry, but a Christian perspective, revived as often happens in times of uncertainty and conflict. The Celtic way is to bless everything in life (except evil), however earthy or everyday, frequently and often systematically. Animals, bicycles, computers, exams, food, gifts, jobs, love-making, meals, parties, travel – a comprehensive list. Practice invokes an internal commandment – “Peace. Be still”. The traveller then has a clearer view of the horizon. I liked this image – a ‘buckler’ from the third century. St Patrick would have worn one with pride and remembered his God in consequence.

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  1. … the spiritual energy that is ever present in the whole of creation …I found this Manley-Hopkins poem and thought you’d like it.As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; As tumbled over rim and roundy wells Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’sBow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; Selves- goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,Crying What I do is me: for that I came.I say more: the just man justices; Keeps gráce: thát keeps all his goings graces;Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is– Chríst. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his To the Father through the features of men’s faces. good, eh?

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