via Joyful Jubilant Learning: Walking the Mist.
“It’s half past one on the morning of 21 June, the summer solstice. As I look out of the cottage window facing west, past the single candle burning on my plant-crowded desk, I can see the last pale blue remnants of yesterday. Behind, through the opposite window, already the first faint whispers of tomorrow are visible along the horizon.
I’m lucky. Where we live there are no street-lights; no noise; no cars or other trappings of city life to crowd in and spoil this magical moment. Sitting here in the dark between two days, strangely out of time, I feel at peace and certain that the time to write this book has come at long last.”
With these words, Donald McKinney begins his narrative of Celtic spirituality in the 21st century. He invites us to walk the mist with him through a distinctly Scottish landscape, and I think it was this first and foremost that attracted me to his book.
This is the start of Amy Palko’s excellent review of Donald McKinney’s book on the JJL site today and she’s really got me thinking. Now I’m not really much taken with explorations of spirituality as a rule and I’m about the least religious person around. (Well, maybe not in this house as Andy is of a similar view to me!). What’s grabbed my attention is the stuff about feeling connected to places. That I recognise.
Some places just resonate with me or me with them instantly. It’s not just the ex-pat’s longing for home, though that might be where some of it comes from. It’s not always the landscape, though water and hills are definitely often involved. It’s a feeling of ‘rightness’, a comforting feeling, a feeling of being at ease with a place. At peace with it.
Sometimes I feel it in places where people have lived for a very long time, like parts of Andalucia, or bits of Wales, other places feel like not a soul could ever have lived there. Often they are fishing villages, wooded walks by rivers, or open moors. Just occasionally they are the older areas in great, big, busy cities, like Paris or Edinburgh.
There are other places too, that have the opposite effect. Some of the new towns, like Glenrothes, where people never settled before and I can sort of feel why!
These ‘right’ places are a challenge to find in London but it can be done and Amy’s book review has just reminded me how important this feeling is to my well being. This is one of my favourite ‘right’ places and it’s in my own back garden!