As promised to calendar holders. I am writing the story behind each month's calendar photo this year.
If it weren't for Eliza, I never would have met the sheep on the clifftop over Keem Bay. Neither would I have experienced the striking presence of absence, exploring the Deserted Village at Slievemore, or discovered the Holy Well in the cemetery alongside it.
And if it weren't for the fellow crossing the street along the Mall by the River Carrow Beg who pointed me there, I mightn't have found the oh-so comfy and welcoming Old Mill Hostel in Westport, or started that friendly chat in the kitchen thus making a bit of a pal of Liza, the teacher from Achill who stays there on the mainland as errands require it. I wouldn't have known of Eliza or her school or her Island of Achill at all, nor ventured onto it. And I would never have encountered Westport, Co. Mayo, had I not lingered in Donegal, then Co. Clare and run out of time and steam and sunlight for driving onward toward Killarney that Wednesday.
Had I plotted my route in advance and stuck to it, I'd have had none of these encounters. I would have had others, of course. But there's so much to be said for allowing, letting the wind blow you where it will. There's no resistance in allowing, for one, and plenty of gain for that.
I could keep on tracing backward, encounter to "chance" encounter, ad infinitum no doubt. Were it not for Anne, I'd have never found Ireland to begin with, never begun that love story. And had Landmark not led me to Anne, and Gerry and Marta not led me to Landmark...: on and on it goes.
Planning has its place, its virtues, too. But the led life is a creative life for sure. And the twists and turns born of allowing are their own path, follow their own plan--one better conceived than my pea brain could ever contrive. I suppose this "way" of mine traces back to writing, in the "practice" school, in the style of receiving versus conceiving, listening, the trump to thinking, what could be thought, building the bridge to what I couldn't have imagined. And this crowned no less by the delight intrinsic to discovery: "Look what I found!?"--the finishing spice on an already splendid morsel.
How blessed is the journey, walked by Love.