19 December 2018
A visitor to Galilee reflects on her experience:
Are you a pilgrim on life’s weary road and have the cares of the world overwhelmed you? If you have, then I who prefer to remain an anonymous soul salute you my fellow traveller. Have the old certainties deserted you; the quick fixes you always took for granted – maybe they are now uncertainties and your world is full of crumbling icebergs? Mine most definitely is at the moment and I wonder will I ever sail a boat through calm waters again. The companion whom we hope will travel by our sides all our lives is sadly nonexistent and I wonder will the world ever aright itself from its topsy turvey state.
I, like many others fly down the road at speed from Boyle to Sligo. Each time I mean to stop and go to one of the viewing points at Lough Key and breathe in the peace and walk in the fresh air, but I do not. I continue on my relentless journey and maybe my pilgrimage to my mundane business is not necessary. It took a small girl no more than six to stop me in my tracks. She (let’s call her Roisin) had better remain anonymous too. She asked me stop and could she ride the iron horse belonging to the iron warrior. She was puzzled as to why the iron warrior has his back to the lake? Did he not want to jump onto the road? On the way down she spied a small sign to the right and she asked me what Galilee was? She insisted we call in and Roisin was not to know that she was a catalyst for change in my life.
For Galilee is an oasis of peace and this beautiful house has four chatelaines who guard its sanctuary with kindness, gentleness and concern for weary travellers like me. You are not asked if you believe in some greater power than mere humans but you sense a higher being in some quintessential goodness in its safe haven and there are creature comforts too – generous offers of tea and homemade scones. No agenda is pushed at a weary caller but the invitation to meditate and the temptation to practise mindfulness on a Monday night has called in many a weary soul. If you are like me, a cynical hardnosed resident of an increasingly tough world, then rest your tired soul and body at Galilee for a while.