Then again, maybe you didn't wonder where I've been hanging out.. :-) No offence!
A few blog posts back, see "The Shell must break" I wrote about the challenges faced by living with an illness and the need to be still. Be still and in the moment. Which of course is not the easiest thing to do when faced with pain and discomfort.
I have embraced this renewed knowledge with much more thought and acceptance than ever before.
The words I have read, the wisdom I have heard, the changes in my body brought on by the healing therapies from Dolores are rooting in my being.
I have taken a lot of time to be still and to really experience how I am feeling. Not all are happy thoughts. Some are 'scary'. Some are a powerful revelation of well being. Even with a body that doesn't do what I had hoped it would.
Dreams are providing some clarity as well and as a funny coincidence I had a dream about booking a holiday. Later that day I had an appointment for reflexology and polarity treatment with Dolores, and from the minute I walked in she wanted to suggest to me that maybe I should go on a little holiday...
And so I did.
Writing my wish list, I came up with water, lake, small hotel, time to reflect, nature...and with the help of google I came up with Ashley Park
All I can say is that it was love at first sight.
Ninety year old owner Sean answered the phone. None of my requests were deemed unusual. He had the apartment for me, and yes it was free for the days I had hoped to get away.
"You made my day," I said to Sean.
"We like to make people happy," was the answer.
Two days later I arrived at Ashley Park.
All my wishes and dreams came true in the days of my visit there. Any many more besides.
Sinead looked after me, and other guests, during the week and made sure we were never hungry. She lovingly shared her passion for this unique place and told me about the lake, the swans, the woodlands, the walled garden, ancient trees and the fairy fort. On passing a blossoming lavender she would stop and mention it.
I spend days lying by the lake, resting in the walled garden, wrote, reflected, and sat by the fire at night time.
I had found a wonderful place to settle into the transition I am making from illness into well being. If this well being will eventually translate into a well body, I would be delighted. My biggest goal however is to find that sense of peace (again) in my mind. Be.
This transition brought tears too. I let an overwhelming sadness flow out of my body. I noted what was happening and didn't try to stop it.
What made the stay in Ashley Park powerful was also that I had no means to 'escape'. I had no transport, no computer, my phone was only there if I needed it.
Ashley Park proved to be a safe place to be.
To really be.
During breakfast I met some wonderful guests, who were all equally excited to have found this amazing house. All seated around the one big dining room table, packed with delicious food, breakfast lasted for hours.
Chats about the house, the lake, a boat trip and trips around the area. Chats about writing, art, gardening, music, (see red shed sessions on facebook) life, and yes illness and the need to be still and live the best life you can.
Polly and Peter brought me out on the lake in the boat and helped me in my "fight" to acknowledge, and embrace, the fact that my life is a life of creativity.
(More about this in a follow up post...)
The last night in my bit of heaven I scooted to the ancient trees Sinead had mentioned. I now understood her urge to go tree-climbing.
As you might gather, I am excited to have found this wonderful little place, in the middle of Ireland, near the lovely town of Nenagh. An unassuming place, which I like people to know exist and yet feel a sense of protection towards it... I don't want it to get "mobbed."
I would like to thank Sean for rescuing this place from it's near death in the '70. For the wonderful staff and for the fact that this place is private. Where else would you find a lake all to yourself, among the hundreds of ducks, and a few horses.
I'll be back.