From Kenmare I journeyed to Cork via a labyrinth at Hagal Holistic Farm near Bantry. I got well and truly lost on the ‘road over the mountain’ between there and Cork. Drizzly afternoon, no signs of human habitation, T junction with no road signs and no GPS signal. I just sat and waited for a car to come along. Took a while. Flagged down the bemused occupants and got sufficient instructions to get me to the next town.
In Cork I was able to spend some time with Tony Christie and his wife Fionnoula. Tony is a labyrinth builder who conducted a workshop in the Blue Mountains that I attended last November. On meeting up with them this time I had the the privilege of walking the grass labyrinth in their garden, then we travelled together to the labyrinth in the grounds of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral in the city. It was great to spend time with these warm, hospitable people and spend time with kindred spirits who didn’t need an explanation of what a labyrinth was.
Next I journeyed to Kilkenny to visit Eimear Burke, a psychologist who now runs a college of druidry. Her property, in an area known as Three Castles, includes Norman ruins and has fascinating nooks and crannies throughout the buildings and the gardens. Like so many people in Ireland, Eimear gave very generously of her time. We explored her garden together and she told me the properties of various Ogham trees including hawthorn, hazel, rowan, yew and oak.
When I walked her labyrinth her dog, Willow, came to join me in the centre. More canine companionship in sacred space in Ireland. Once she’d had a tummy scratch she walked across the path and left as if to say ‘My work is done’.
So my path throughout Ireland was essentially from healer to healer, from one kind and generous and hospitable person to another.