|Killeany Lodge, Inis mor, Aran Islands|
|Garden, Killeany Lodge, Inis mor, Aran Islands|
Irmtraud, a 70 year old woman who did yoga better than many of us in the room, showed me to the garden, and instructed me on how to pull out weeds effectively, and how to give the soil more air by raking my fingers through it. I weeded on my hands and knees for nearly two hours, and threw the weeds onto the compost heap. Gardening is hard work! Especially a garden this size. I have such great respect for Irmtraud for keeping it so beautiful and healthy. But it was extremely satisfying to look at the stalks of garlic, now free from overgrown weeks, standing proudly in their bed of soil. Irmtraud held up her hands - her fingernails encrusted in dirt - and said that her hands look this way because if they didn't, someone else's hands would.
|Herb garden, Killeany Lodge, Inis mor, Aran Islands|
After we cleaned up, we had fresh peppermint tea, and the four of us women (me, Irmtraud, Mako, and a painter/writer named Nonie who lives on the island) talked about the island, the mysteries of the forts, and read some of our writing out loud. It was truly a beautiful day, spent with beautiful people. I'm happy to have found a small community of spiritual, mindful of people on this island. I'm sure there are others here, too, that I haven't met yet. Aran was always a spiritual place, a place of pilgrimage, where saints and seekers journeyed to - and I'm happy to see it continuing this trend, even if it looks different now than it did centuries ago.