Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ireland 2015 Day 1

Being with good people in a new place is a delightful thing. Ireland is a particularly enjoyable place to travel to.There are amazing churches with interesting histories. Jonathon Swift was dean of St. Patrick Cathedral in Dublin. He also wrote Gulliver's Travels.

 There is a 9000 year lease for the original site for the Guinness Brewery. Talk about confidence!

Sharing a pint with a friend  makes the day that much better.

In a thin place - Glendalough. A thin place is a place where it is believed the veil between heaven and earth is particularly thin and one can sense the other side.The round towers are a particular feature to Ireland's holy places. They were bell towers but it is unclear why the doors are about 20ft off the ground.

 At St. Kevins Chapel the tower is built into the chapel structure. It is interesting to imagine what life in this valley might have been like with 4000 folks connected to the monastery. Established in the 6th century, it flourished for more than 800 years before English troops partly destroyed  the settlement and disestablished the monastery in 1398. St. Kevin was the founder and lived an ascetic life, spending much of his time in a cave. He was famous for his patience. One story of Kevin has him kneeling, his arms outstretched in prayer, at a small hut in the wilderness when a blackbird landed in his palm and proceeded to construct a nest. Kevin remained perfectly still, so as not to disturb the bird. Kevin was fed by the blackbird with berries and nuts. When the last blackbird hatching left the nest, he returned to his regular life of prayer.

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