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When all is not lost

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

"In the broken places, the light shines through"

Leonard Cohen

When I was a little girl, I used to run away a lot. Growing up in an incredibly beautiful but remote part of this Island, I would run undisturbed for miles until out of breath, I would stop, take off my shoes and socks and feel the cool grass underneath my feet. Then lying on this long soft grass, I would look up into the sky making shapes and telling stories with the clouds. I do not run anymore…except for a bus, but I still tell stories with the clouds! During that time, I could feel this bond to something beyond what my tender mind could comprehend; a connection to the vastness of the world around me and under my breath I would sing quietly a song I didn’t know and to this day cannot remember. I was always comforted by this ritual, soothed by a presence I could not really understand, and did not have a language for. Other times I would dig my hands into the soil, press it between my fingers and remember what my local clergy man said about Adam coming from the dust. In my innocence I would sit for hours making mounds out of the dirt hoping to make my own Adam…if that actually worked, there would be a lot more people into ‘gardening’! As I approached my teens and propagating into my twenties, that relationship with the physical earth dissipated as more time was spent away from the natural world and my affiliation with that Divine energy was replaced by a very intellectual relationship, manifesting in my desire to study theology in my undergraduate degree.

In my late twenties and during the first year of that third level degree, I suffered a devastating loss. It was very sudden, very cruel, and very traumatising. The weight and depth of my grief for this man was crushing. His sudden absence reverberated through aspects of my life in ways I could never have anticipated. Prior to his death I had no real understanding of the complexity of grief, no comprehension of the brevity of life; the fragility of it nor its beauty. Thus, this thrust into the reality of my impending mortality was a pivotal moment in my life and it would change the course of it exponentially.