This time of year in Ireland is almost blindingly bright, all the time. I went for a Solstice swim a few mornings ago and it was broad daylight at 4:30am. Could have been 10am, could have been 10pm…
The days are bright and the world around us is bursting to life. Growth along the side of the coast road I walk on is flourishing. The photos above shows the bramble berry flowers coming out, which in due time will trade places with ripe, dark fruit which my kids and I will collect to make cobbler. Everything is thriving – most of all the weeds, which I have no hope of staying on top of this year. The perennial flowers I planted last year are coming into their own again, and the annual seeds I put in the ground a few months ago are beginning to take shape and fill the flower beds, already getting unruly.
And the rest of the world, too, seems to be zipping along in fruitfulness and productiveness. We’re done with rest and quiet and withdrawal. We’re emerging from our seedbeds and bursting forth into the world, following the bright daylight, reaching towards the sky. We want to be out and about, to interact with others, to be involved and engaged, to flourish and thrive.
As I myself have been drawn towards the light, towards growth, towards creativity and productivity, I’m trying to remind myself to keep my roots nourished as well. Without healthy roots, nothing can thrive. The first song on our new Celtic Psalms album is based on Psalm 1, and the refrain goes: “They are like the trees grown in flowing streams; their leaves will not wither, their fruits are very sweet. In all that they do, they will flourish and thrive; their delight is in the love of God.”
Remembering to keep our roots healthy is essential not only to our survival but also to our flourishing. How can we be our best selves? It is by staying close to our our source of strength and life. By drawing near to our Creator, who loves us. By drawing from that overflowing stream of goodness and kindness, gentleness and compassion. And it is there that we will find true delight. It is there that we will truly thrive.
May you keep your roots watered by the source of life, and find true delight there.
Summer 2022 and Beyond
Celtic Psalms Northeast US Tour 1-17 July 2022
After two years without any live concerts, we are delighted to finally be able to sing together in public again, and as we are also releasing our new album Celtic Psalms: May We Rise, we thought it was the right time to plan another tour. If you are anywhere between DC and Boston, please check out our concert schedule (see above). Our Celtic Psalms Facebook page will have up-to-date information along the way, as well as some links for live streaming, photos etc, if you’d like journey with us a little!
Celtic Psalms: May We Rise – Our new album is out! If you’d like to purchase mp3s of the songs or one of the limited number of Cds, go to www.celticpsalms.com. As many of you know, it meant a lot to me to be able to record and work on this album during the Covid period. I really hope you enjoy it, and that it brings you healing and hope as it did for me.
See below the dates and themes of three retreats I will be leading at Corrymeela in the coming year (2022-23 Oct, Feb, Apr). All the retreats are open to people from a variety of religious and spiritual backgrounds. If you’ve been dreaming of a chance to come to Ireland and find some spiritual refreshment, inspiration or enrichment, maybe this is your chance! I’d love to see you there. Contact email@example.com for enquiries and bookings
14–16 October 2022 (*Early bird rate if you book by Friday the 15th of July)
In this retreat we follow of rhythm of silence and gathering, finding stillness in the midst of community. As the pace of daily life picks up following these pandemic years, it is vital for our wellbeing that we find ways to quiet ourselves long enough to hear our own voice, and God’s voice in our lives. Even in the busiest of times, we can develop skills to centre ourselves, pay attention to what is going within us, and listen for where we are being drawn in the days ahead. This retreat will be marked by times for gathering as a community for sharing, prayer, and creative expression, while setting aside time and space for silence. Our living space, the Davey Village, will be set aside for intentional silence and gatherings, and our meals will be held in the Main House as we link in with the community life at Corrymeela. This retreat is open to people from a variety of religious and spiritual backgrounds. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for enquiries and bookings
24–26 February 2023
This retreat offers a space to be in silence alongside gathered community. In silence, we take the time to still the swirl of daily life and really listen, deeply, to what’s going on under the surface. We listen to ourselves – to our own voices, needs, pains, grief, longings and hopes for the future. And we listen to what God might be saying to us and leading us into. In our silence, we accompany each other in our journeys and support one another. Many of us have endured too much silence in the past few years, and others haven’t experienced enough of it. But this shared silence is sacred, and by entering this retreat experience, we help create the space in which one another can be renewed and restored. Silence crosses many barriers, and this retreat is open to people from a variety of religious or spiritual backgrounds. Contact email@example.com enquiries and bookings
21–23 April 2023
What keeps our spirits resilient, even in times of upheaval? The past few years have challenged us, and we have also found resilience within ourselves. This retreat offers space for reflection and sharing as we explore together what helps us build resilience in our daily lives – what lifts our spirits? What brings us balance? What offers us hope? Through the spacious rhythm of retreat, we learn more about what gives us life, energy, and wellbeing, so that we can return to our full lives restored and renewed. We have all endured the upheaval of the pandemic, and we have also discovered that we are resilient. We accompany each other on this journey, supporting and inspiring one another as we pay attention to what is life–giving, so that we might live more fully in the world. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for enquiries and bookings
Bless My Feet Summer Break
I’m sure we all need some time to recalibrate this summer, so I will be taking a break from regular posts this summer. I’ll be focusing on creating and producing while on tour, and then tapping into some nourishment for my roots – in the form of time with family, rest, reading lots of fiction, talking long walks, letting my mind drift aimlessly, and simply being. I hope you have a beautiful summer, and I wish for you a sense of delight as you root yourself in what nourishes you. I will write again when the season begins to shift towards the “new year” of September and let you know what I have in mind for Bless My Feet in the coming year.
May the God of flowing streams
of goodness and kindness
gentleness and compassion
flow through our roots
and through our whole selves
as we create and produce
as we engage and interact
as we reach for the sky.
May we flourish and thrive
as our roots connect us
to the everlasting source