Within the last two weeks near Boyle I was able to complete all the projects I started, which in and of itself seems to be a miracle. There was so much to do and I felt eager to accomplish it all. Besides the previously mentioned pallet bench, I got started on a second one (that eventually was finished by Hugh and Nadine themselves), realised a wooden wall on a metal frame with wheels for a nice, decorative contrast to the previously bare concrete wall (what a lovely team effort this was with Nadine), designed a logo with a matching website and online store and tried my best to put my skills in front and back office management to good use for Hughs business, like creating an automatic invoicing system with excel and creating a filing system for them, as well as his mails. All this beside the ordinary work on the field, harvesting, washing, bundling, labelling and packing the vegetables according to the customer's orders. Looking back, and writing this now, I am beyond proud of what Hugh, Nadine and I managed to accomplish in this short period of just six weeks, especially within these last fourteen days.
So, until mid September I still was at Ballymore Organic Farm, with Hugh and his partner Nadine. For these last two weeks another WWOOFer joined us. So for the first time since ever, I shared a small room with another person. That was easier than expected because from the beginning there was an instant connection. It was very easy to talk about everything and more, while also being able to disappear into separate worlds whenever we needed to do our own things, like meditation for example.
Nonetheless I have to admit that the small space of the room, the house in general, allowed me little to no time to be by myself. By now I was very accustomed to the fact that I am able to have a lot of hours every day reserved for my special re-energising time by myself. Usually I would use these hours to do my online classes, my meditation or yoga practice, my editing, writing and spending time with Marjorie on a long hike while filming or immersing myself into nature photography. By week two of this new shared accommodation arrangement, I felt exhausted, as though I was on the run, constantly without a break. Besides working a lot, way over the expected hours that is, and days with heavy rainfalls, I could find no real way of calming down and find back into my peaceful, quiet balance. Additionally the geographical situation did not allow Marjorie and I to just go outside and somewhere else. With a narrow main road that always lead a lot of traffic, I relied on Hugh to drive us somewhere and pick us up again. Luckily Hugh did that as he saw this as one of his expressions of gratitude towards his WWOOFers, so it was not an issue to ask. Nevertheless the freedom of going whenever and wherever was heavily limited.
Only when I arrived at Tullyquilly House, where my personal Irish Journey started out back in May, did I realise that I was in desperate need for a break. Five months of work, except for the four days in Dublin in June, did use up a lot of energy. But, as I came to realise, especially the last two weeks in Boyle, were very intense. This was mainly due to the fact that I acted on the impulse to realise every little project I felt would ease the weight off of Hugh and Nadine, make their processes less arduous, give them a little more time without work and with each other instead. Being a perfectionist and a people-pleasing driven personality without set boundaries, and the shared room as a contributing factor, I arrived at Tullyquilly House in an overachiever, stressed and mind-racing state of being. It took me four days to really settle in, gradually slowing down the pace again, sorting my thoughts, my priorities. While still being at Ballymore, I did start to focus my attention on what boundaries I need to set and want to have in place for my sanity. Fruition though kicked in only when I arrived back here at Tullyquilly House.
There is a unique and special energy to this house and garden, the surrounding areas like the Castlewellan Grounds, Tollymore Forest Park, Kilbroney Forest Park or Murlough Beach. Like before, this time around again, it felt like coming to a sanctuary of peace and quiet. Accordingly my energy also tuned into peace and quiet again. By my second week here I felt at home within myself again, found my inner balance and was back to enjoying hours inside my own mind, creating, wall building, listening to music, meditation and walks in nature. I had forgotten how much of a contribution stillness, slowness and quietness brought to my mental health, to being able to sense my inner compass of well-being.
It has been three weeks now. Tomorrow I will be on my way to Belfast, from this beautiful island, back to Ayr, Scotland. I have to admit that when I came here five months ago, I was craving to sail back in an instant, to where my heart was longing to be, the Isle of Lewis. But looking back now, I would not have wanted to missed out on this adventure for anything. The people I met all gave me the chance to grow as a person, see new perspectives, aim to become a better person. The skills I acquired will contribute to all sorts of possibilities, not to mention the joy it sparked within me to see that all I need to do is give it a try and I can learn everything I set my mind to. The places I have been to, the beauty I have seen, the tales I have heard- I am so grateful for all of it. The hardships that turned out to be the greatest life lessons. The challenges of self development, the benefits of constantly daring to get out of my comfort zone, staying long enough to question habits and routines but not long enough to be trapped by them, always re-evaluating, re-calibrating what I want, need, wish my life to look, feel and be like.
So, this is it. I spent my last day in Ireland at my most favourite place on this island: Tollymore Forest Park. The energy here is indescribable. The way the rays of sunlight glide through the branches. The way the wind plays with the leaves and needles of the trees and creates patterns and glittering gracefulness. The way the water sounds, wild at times or barely noticeable at other times. The pallet of colours from a hundred different shades of green on the ground with all the varieties of moss and grass and bushes. The stone bridges and walls, overgrown with moss and ferns and lichen, telling stories from two hundred years worth of wisdom. The visible change of the season from lush green to reds, oranges and browns.
It truly was the only place I wanted to be at on my last day here- and that is something because usually the coastline with cliffs and beaches is where I crave to be.
(Please excuse the low resolution and bad quality. I had lost my camera in another park and only got it back later this same day, because some wonderful human being brought it to the Castlewellan Park Ranger's Office where I had posted my claim that I had lost it earlier this week. BUT, I so very much wanted to let you get another glimpse of this unfathomably gorgeous place. So, long story short, this video was made with my Fairphone 2, thus bad quality :D)
There is only so much I can put into words. And I put all honesty and truth in them. But then again I found another love beside writing and photography. That is videography. I started out, what a fine loop that is, five months ago at Tullyquilly House, exactly where I have returned to now. I believe I am worlds away from being a professional, needless to say, but it sparks so much joy in me, I would not have thought it possible. Mastery though will not be achieved if one shies away from starting out at the very beginning of learning. I am proud to say that I will continue my journey of schooling myself in the art of videography, both by doing as well as educating myself with a new online course starting in the middle of October. And because I enjoy earning knowledge I also will start additional courses in photography and creative writing- you can never gather enough expertise to accompany your own humble comprehension.
With that said, let me know what you think about my newest Vlog :)
I hope all of you are doing well, enjoying life and the twists and turns it throws at us.
From my heart to yours, thank you so very much for taking time out of your busy days, reading my blog, supporting me, accompanying me on this journey.
All love and light, beloved souls